Jo Bird relates her family’s tragic history during the Holocaust as #antisemitic Councillor Moira McLaughlin breezes past her, choosing not to listen or take heed
Transcription of Video 1
Mayor: Councillor Jo Bird.
Jo Bird: Thank you Mayor, fellow councillors and residents of Wirral.
Ian Lewis: Mr Mayor.
Mayor: Councillor Lewis.
Ian Lewis: Under Standing Order 12(13) I move that a member be not heard.
Jo Bird: Why? Mr Mayor, I have every right to speak in this chamber.
Mayor: I understand. I have to put this straight to the vote Councillor Bird. So we’re working on a show of hands this…
Phil Gilchrist: Mr Mayor.
Mayor: Do I see members rising for a recorded vote?
Phil Gilchrist: Mr Mayor, before a recorded vote is heard, can I seek some advice from the…
Mayor: Yes, Councillor Gilchrist.
Phil Gilchrist: My recollection – without looking at the standing order – is that for a member to be not heard, they have to do something actually outrageous in this chamber, or address the council in a particular manner. Councillor Bird has apparently made statements at a meeting somewhere else in the country which have received considerable attention for their offensive nature in the last few hours. Nothing however’s been said specifically in this chamber and on that basis I wait to hear Mr McCourt’s advice on the exact interpretation of this standing order.
McCourt [Monitoring Officer]: Members, there are two relevant standing orders. There is a set of standing orders concerning disorderly conduct. And as Councillor Gilchrist states, that relates directly to one of the motions that may be moved without notice, which is that a member should not be further heard. It is usually the case that that vote comes after some form of disturbance or disruption within the chamber rather than simply denying a councillor the statement. It is within the Mayor’s gift this evening to say that is not a motion that’s properly moved at this time, or dispense with it by moving very quickly to the vote.
We’re still running with this incident, and we’re going all the way…
…even though we’ve lodged a detailed Standards Complaint against 3 of the councillors involved. The result of the vote taken between Videos 1 & 2 can be found here
Why? Because nobody else is, and the nation’s ‘news bringers’ have opted out. But it’s extremely serious and the public need to see it – as many of us as possible – up and down the country. This is where Social Media bloggers need to step in and do our duty.
We live on Wirral and we recognise and deplore discrimination, ugly hatred and foul #antisemitism whenever we see it, particularly when it occurs brazenly, in an official setting – and inside the chamber of a fine council building – a seat of local government that is not even half a mile away from our house. In fact, so close, we can practically smell what goes on there.
Why is there a need to persist? That’s easy. Because a specific, ominous and lingering silence has descended. This has been fuelled and stoked up – all by very careful omission – and it’s growing and inhibiting ‘press freedom’ by the day.
A news vacuum.
It could also be accurately described as a “safe space”. Imagine a press and media that failed to report any crime in the UK. The absence of a deterrent effect would be like giving everybody’s front door key to the criminally minded amongst us and saying, “take what you want”.
Sadly, you don’t need to imagine this. It’s actually happening in the here and now.
The mainstream media’s four-year-long, reckless, weaponising behaviour on #antisemitism against the Labour Party gives us practically the same situation. If we concentrate on branding Labour alone as a problem area and don’t report incidents of antisemitism or Islamophobia involving other parties, all we’re achieving is the deliberate carving out of a special limited liability zone, where anything goes for non-Labour people.
By selective omission, the media would be setting up a free-for-all for all other, non-Labour political organisations and saying, “Off you go, there’s a nice, safe recreation area for you to frolic safely and do what the hell you want.”
And if we cast our minds back, we can recall from recent history how Tory elected officials, i.e. MPs and councillors, were well known for ‘letting their hair down’, dressing themselves up in Nazi uniforms, and sporting all the sinister, fascist regalia that goes with it “for a laugh”.
Well, it isn’t funny and it’s deeply antisemitic, despite the internal whitewashes. But all that gross behaviour, all that menacing, Nazi-style strutting and prancing and saluting and stomping around that used to fill our newspapers has now been conveniently forgotten by the press and media. It still goes on out of sight, and they no longer refer to it, er… cos it ain’t news anymore, is it…?
Instead, they’ve gone onto the attack and are weaponising #antisemitism against the anti-racist left because they’re fearing a Labour Socialist government and the fair treatment and chance of justice that that threatens to usher in for the ‘undeserving’, unrepresented masses.
They’re dreading it.
Dreading it? They’re fucking petrified … absolutely shit scared. A democratic socialist UK government – if administered and targeted correctly – will take the intensely unjust, piratical, capitalist, winner takes all, fat cat stroking, banker fellating system of the last 40 years, pick it up by the scruff of the neck, turn it on its head, divest it of its stolen wealth and shake the contents of its bulging wallets out onto the floor.
Most importantly, there will be tight, statutory laws introduced to close the yawning tax loopholes, hunt down greedy, newly-discovered criminal tax evaders (avoidance will no longer be an issue), then charge, try and imprison them at Her Majesty’s pleasure.
We could then quickly introduce a fully-costed, state-of-the-art prison building programme, propped up using the crooks’ recovered £billions. Nice and secure and all comfortably self-funding.
We’ll have re-nationalisation of rail, services, genuine root and branch regulation of utilities, a smashing of the cartels, insourcing, social housing programmes, re-regulation of public transport, funding for the forgotten NHS and creaking welfare system, help for vulnerable citizens and an urgent curb on banker and city greed.
Not forgetting Leveson 2.
A useful Wirral In It Together suggestion would be national service for upper-class teenagers.
And that’s just for starters.
The following broad cross-section of politicians, journalists, celebrities and Twitter commentators know all about this Tory #antisemitism because we’ve tweeted them and told them about it, but they prefer to prosper inside the status quo as it stands. It’s provided them with a good living, so why rock the boat? They’re putting their own fortunes ahead of the rest of us and are choosing not to comment or acknowledge its existence for fear of upsetting their Tory masters and bringing their own well-appointed houses tumbling down on their heads.
It’s as if any direct response or acknowledgement by these “names”, no matter how cursory, would be fatal. Because it would either give the issue some credence, or they’re fearing they’d lose some of their own. If that is indeed the case, we’d argue it doesn’t need any more credence than it already has. Watch the videos top and bottom. They’re packed to the brim with the bastard.
So… here are some of those Tory #antisemitism sympathisers in no particular order:
Boris Johnson MP, comedian David Schneider, Owen Jones, ex-Tory Chairman Brandon Lewis MP, new Tory Chairman James Cleverly MP, Countdown’s Rachel Riley, Eastenders’ Tracy Ann Oberman, dirge merchant Billy Bragg, Michael White, ITV’s Paul Brand, Robert Peston, Margaret Hodge MP, Laura Kuenssberg, Norman Smith, Kevin Schofield, Chris Cook, Kevin Maguire, Beth Rigby, Peter Walker, Tamara Cohen, Ian Birrell, Michael Deacon, Nick Robinson, Steven Swinford, Sam Coates, Heather Stewart, Lawyer Mark Lewis, Jonathan Freedland, Gnasher Jew, John Mann MP, Lisa Nandy MP, Wes Streeting MP, Tom Watson MP, Krishnan Guru-Murthy, SussexFriendsOfIsrael, LAAS, Bernard McEldowney, Paul Waugh.
And there’s an even longer list of many, many more slaves to their own dishonesty that’s too long to include here.
When you watch both of these videos, the images are ugly. The dour facial expressions on the Tory and Independent councillors are telling.
But the calm dignity of Jo Bird as she addresses the chamber speaks many volumes.
Transcription of Video 2
Mayor: Votes in favour, 22. Votes against, 39. Abstentions, 1. The motion is lost. I call Councillor Jo Bird.
Jo Bird: I’m sorry that the Wirral Conservatives feel the need to leave the chamber at this point. You will not be able to hear the voice of Bromborough and New Ferry residents, nor my apology for…
Mayor: Councillor Bird…
Jo Bird: …my words being misunderstood.
Mayor: Councillor Bird, I suggest we adjourn the meeting for a moment whilst some members leave.
[Pause 00:37 to 00:55]
Mayor: Councillor Bird, would you like to resume?
Jo Bird: Thank you, it is unfortunate that the Conservative members have chosen to leave, thereby depriving their own residents of their voice in this chamber. I would like to address everybody; Mayor, fellow councillors and residents of Wirral. I nip out during the Christian prayers here partly because I’m Jewish. My great grandparents were refugees from ethnic cleansing and fascism in Europe. My grandfather never knew his cousins because they perished in the holocaust. I know from lived experience what racism against Jewish people looks like, and it’s vile. Just today I received antisemitic hate emails. I was told that it is time for Jews to leave the UK, that I’m lowlife, go and crawl back under your rock, and that I’m a Nazi. And actually what gives me nightmares these days are political moves to the right and the far right. For example, Conservative Leaders like Theresa May, creating what she herself calls a hostile environment for migrants who enrich our country, such as the Windrush Generation. And we’ve seen just right now the hostile environment created by Conservatives in the Wirral. It is Labour who have led every piece of anti-racist legislation in this country.
The absolutely blatant and threatening authenticity of this antisemitism is its most striking feature. That’s why the Tory sympathising press and media ran a mile from it…
… and that’s why they’re still running almost five months later.
Toodle Pip !