Announcement comment

Two CLPs rule motion on bike-ride to raise funds for Palestinian kids ‘out of order’ because of David Evans’s ‘instructions’

According to the East London Palestine Solidarity Campaign (ELPSC), two local Labour parties in the area banned motions put forward by members to support a charity bicycle ride to raise funds for Palestinian children – and attributed the ban to instructions from Labour’s acting general secretary David Evans.

An ELPSC statement elaborates:

East London Palestine Solidarity Campaign understands that two local Constituency Labour Parties, Bethnal Green & Bow CLP, and Poplar & Limehouse CLP, have ruled motions in support of the “Big Ride for Palestine”, a charity event in aid of Palestinian children, as “out of order” under instructions issued to CLPs by Labour’s general secretary, David Evans.

In 2019, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign, received email correspondence between council officers in Tower Hamlets, following a Freedom of Information request (FOI). The correspondence revealed that officers had refused permission for the “Big Ride”, citing the highly controversial International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) “working definition” of antisemitism. The IHRA “working definition” has no legal status.

The motion in support of the Big Ride for Palestine (attached) was submitted to the CLPs in November 2019. Due to suspension of Labour Party meetings during the pandemic, the motions were referred back to the CLPs for resubmission last month. Members were assured this was merely procedural.

However, hours before branch meetings were due to be held in December, members were informed the motion in support of the Big Ride, had been ruled “out of order” and could not be discussed. This fell under the same prohibition of motions regarding party democracy, and reinstatement of the whip to Jeremy Corbyn.

East London Palestine Solidarity Campaign condemns any decision that prohibits discussion or support for a motion in support of a charity event in aid of Palestine by the Labour Party.

Last year, the Palestine Solidarity campaign warned that the adoption of the non-legally binding, IHRA “working definition” of antisemitism risked a chilling effect and suppression of solidarity with Palestine. Our proposed caveats, guaranteeing free speech on Palestine, were rejected by Tower Hamlets council.

Our warnings and worst fears have proven justified. The debate inside the Labour Party and the adoption of the IHRA “working definition” on antisemitism now appear to be the premise for prohibiting discussion and motions on Palestine solidarity campaigns

Evans committed last month to implementing in full the Labour Muslim Network (LMN) report on Islamophobia in the Labour party, though there have been no signs of any suspensions of Labour MPs and others for attacks on Palestinians’ right of self-determination, which the LMN report states is Islamophobic.

It seems that Evans’s commitment is not protecting Palestinian children either or activities to try to help them, either.

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87 comments

  1. Tells us all we need to know.
    Yet a handful are saying don’t speak out for fear of being suspended or expelled. Fair weather friends i call them. Useless. Enemies can do that. What sort of comrade is that? Afraid to speak up for decades even when they have retired.

    1. What is betraying us? Blair? Widdecombe? Michael Howard? Hodge? Duncan-Smith? Twatson ?

      WHO? Who are betrayers? Johnson? Cummings? Harpin, Angela Eagle, Cameron, Twatson, Jack Straw, Malcolm Rifkind, David Blunket, Harman, Clegg, Starmer, May, Nicholas Soames, Berger, Grant Shapps, Hillary Benn, Tebbitt, Rayner, Gavin Williamson, Evans, Margaret Thatcher ? ? ? Phillip Green? Owen Smith? WHO is betraying OUR trust, OUR support, OUR votes, OUR hours and voluntary efforts…
      who is betraying us❔ ❔ ❔

      1. Who IS as if they BELIEVE in our values, and policies, as if they DO believe our vision should be the NEW Status Quo? Other than these CLPs at long last, Dianne Abbott, and the wonderful new MP i praised here MONTHS ago Zara Sultana (excuse spelling)

        Other than those, please name three MPs or union leaders… any three you’ve heard speaking from the “Left” or unions during the last month… three months… eleven months… ONE person union OR “Left” PLP
        anyone tiniest action a word promoting our vision . . .

  2. Fascism at work!

    PS Phew, I think I might just get this post in first before signpost starts ranting and spouting again. Fingers crossed!

    1. Nope, he beat me to it! (You see he’s monitoring the site all day long every day and that’s why he always gets his ‘comments’ in – and I use the term very loosely – either at the top or near the top of the Comment section).

      1. In case you’re not aware of it, signpost participated in a black propaganda op on skwawkbox two weeks ago last Tuesday, along with a bunch of other shills (or their secondary personas) on the day Jeremy Corbyn made his statement on FB, and they did so by deviously posting comments to lead the readership of skwawkbox to believe that Jeremy had done a big climb-down, and was now saying the opposite of what he’d said three weeks beforehand (that led to him being suspended). But he DIDN’T, and what he said in his FB statement is that the CONCERNS about A/S in the party have not been overstated or exaggerated, which is NOT the opposite of what he said initially – ie the opposite of, or contrary to, saying that the SCALE of A/S has been massively overstated (by political opponents inside and outside the party and the media). The following is a link to the comment where the scam starts (followed by signpost’s ‘contribution’):

        https://skwawkbox.org/2020/11/17/right-winger-akehurst-facing-islamophobia-complaint-of-anti-palestinian-racism-days-after-nec-election-and-labours-acceptance-of-all-lmn-labour-islamophobia-report/#comment-165044

      2. Shut up you paranoid idiot Howard, and seek treatment.

      3. White Flag Man, in case you are not aware, Signpost is female.

      4. Careful Howard…you are regressing again.I know you are frightened but help is on its way to you…..Sleep and a large cup of horlicks should do the trick.Your assumptions are off the richter scale and Jack is their to sooth your fevered imagination.by putting your wild character assasinations to bed,which is where you should go.

      5. Steady on Joseph, White Flag Man will now be getting paranoid thoughts about you being my ‘secondary persona’ begorrah – oops.

    2. I agree with you, Alan, and it is by virtue of Labour overtaking the tories on the right.

      1. Just what do you agree with that paranoid Allan has said here Sabine?

      2. Stop encouraging him Sabine..White flag man attacks all members of the Labour party even when its a bit of good news.But then again we’ve always had those who wave the white flag and capitulate.De motivating and uncalled for when the real enemy within you are paying your subs to.,laughs and ignores the rules….

  3. Evans’ ruling is like the Tories begrudging children one hot meal. Why should we not speak out about basics??? Are basics not metropolitan enough???

  4. Photographs of stuff “discovered” hanging from constituency offices (especially Starmer’s) could be posted online by ex-members (like me) as news items without repercussion.
    “Stuff” could include posters of Jeremy or a Palestine flag – or anything else to put the wind up the Quislings.
    We could even have a competition 😉

    1. ps to avoid prosecution for “criminal damage with a drawing pin” I’d suggest also taking a straight shot of the building from precisely the same position to “prove” the fun stuff was photoshopped on. Or just photoshop it on.

  5. Would you jump off a cliff if your mate told you too
    So why are CLP’s giving oxygen to Evans
    He does not have the power to set Competent Business in CLP Meetings, never has never will
    Also on agenda should be affiliation with JVL and funding for Class Action, Mark Howell, Crowd Justice
    I’m Spartacus

    1. Im going to stick my neck out here a bit. As a muslim do u know what my fear is. That all this support for zionism will lead to more terrorism in this country. I really do. Terror has no religion and is definitely NOT the meaning of jihad. Most terror is because of geopolitical reasons. Like the wars and arms deals and torture the uk have been involved in for years. Starmer too. I really think that if hes not careful non zionist jews, jews, muslims in fact anyone british may be targeted by middle east terrorism.

  6. When all’s said & done it’s the right idea by the two CLPs involved.

    Yes – The Palestinian kids might well miss out…This time. How many more times will they miss out in future if evans & axle grease barnet keep putting the kybosh on legitimate debate and dissent, without the finger pointing squarely at them?

    It won’t escape the MSM’s attention for long when they come sniffing around, looking for another antisemitism ‘scoop’. They’ll have a bit of work to do in explaining that one away…

      1. Look at the bigger picture – if things like this contribute to the downfall of the israeli proponent, BoD controlled stammer, and see the rodent replaced with someone a bit more ‘moderate’, or at least sympathetic to the Palestinian cause, then it’s a win for the labour party, the UK, AND the Palestinians.

    1. The most important obsession of the Israel Lobby is that Israel should be allowed to continue it’s racism against the Palestinians without any major objection until there are no Palestinians left in Palestine. To further that obsession it was vital that Corbyn had to go.

      With the help of the right wing in the Party, that objective has almost been achieved. In doing so, the Zionists have had success beyond their wildest dreams in that they now control the Labour Party, the largest political Party in Europe. In fact they now control Britain’s two major parties, Tory and Labour.

      Just imagine how they must feel, they set out to remove a thorn and now have control of the whole Labour rose bush. Don’t anyone dare to tell me not to criticise Zionism and Zionists. Their plans and their methods have been obvious for years yet they have been tolerated and given space in the Party to implement them because so many were too unaware or too afraid to confront them.

      1. JackT
        Good Jews Bad Jews, I’m proud to say I’m an honorary Bad Jew
        Same with Zionists

      2. I think the institutional racism of the current Labour Party will be its undoing. There are several million muslim voters in the UK. Traditionally, most have voted Labour. Now that the Labour Party has shown that they actually count for nothing in the Labour hierarchy, will they bother to go out and vote for such a party.

        The same can be said for the black community and Starmer’s less than impressive response to Black Lives Matter. Most traditionally Labour voters. Starmer and his hierarchy have shown no interest in helping them, no interest in commenting on slavery, no interest in even signing a letter about “repatriation” flights – even where people are being repatriated to places they have never known.

        And of course, Starmer doesn’t regard self-determination as a human right, hence he doesn’t want to see the Scots having a second referendum.

        One wonders exactly whom Starmer and his cabal DOES support?

      3. Well doug Starmer is a masorti jew and is bringing his children in the masorti tradition of Conservative juduism.IT seems that his father in law reads the prayers at the celebration of Friday night Shabbat and his children are brought up in the tradition.of the faith.For me it sounds like a scene from the waltons except they were backwoods bible punchers and our knight is just officially now a Zionist and a conservative.Although Starmer goes to great lengths to hide is family tradition and his background its all plain to see that the BOD run the knight led Labour party.Times running out for Starmer.and it will not just be the socialist fight back,but his right wing pals that are little more than unhinged fascists that do not like jews.,irish ,blacks or gypsies.Still more to come I am sure.Ps By the way I am a practising Catholic and proud of it…I dont hide it ,unlike that plonker from Surrey the knight.

      4. Doug, if being against Zionism, as many Jews are, means being an honory bad Jew, then I am with you.

      5. Jack T 100% agree. The Israeli dark state was on a mission to destroy its enemy Jeremy Corbyn, and used the bent Chief Rabbi and RW British Jewish organisations as willing puppets to support a long war of detraction against him. It was Josef Goebbels who said that telling very big lies and repeating them often would generally succeed in having them believed. How ironic that the state of Israel has taken this lesson from this man to its heart.

      6. noelstevenson12, was it Goebbels who also said ‘it is easy to fool people, first convince them they have a problem and then tell them you have the solution’ – or was it Farage? hmm…

      7. Well said. My muslim relative was murdered at dachau and no way could i go use those same tactics on someone else just for a different relation. Even the UN made a report saying israel imposes an apartheid regime on palestine. Yet now starmer claims its antisemitism if i say that. Its pathetic. He made no post on palestinian solidarity day. No reply to my complaint about akehurst. The islamophobic donator or this. The racist starmer makes me sick. And its making non zionism jews very very nervous.

  7. The Labour Party used to be a friend of the Palestinian people. Now it’s a friend of Israel and it’s a sanctionable offence to in any way support Palestine. This tells us all we need to know about the Labour Party. It’ brief and inspirational time under Jeremy Corbyn was an aberration, a political experiment where policy were based on principle and political thinking came from a place of morality and integrity. Throughout this period a strong corrupt cabal within the Labour Party resisted this strange new way, and ultimately prevailed by uniting with its enemies, including the state of Israel, to discredit Jeremy Corbyn and sabotage the project. Sadly I am not at all surprised that this party now turns its back on Palestine and rejects extending compassion to Palestinian children. It is a reactionary position, lurching away from a way of being which was ethical and good, which was actually hated by many powerful actors in the PLP. The Labour Party we see now is the real Labour Party. Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party was a dream, like Martin Luther King’s, and ultimately they shared the same fate.

    1. What’s so tragic is that apart from Jeremy Corbyn, those such as Chris Williamson and particularly Jews like Jackie Walker, Tony Greenstein and others who did recognise the danger of allowing the Zionists to have so much control within the Party, were targeted for expulsion by the Israel Lobby and we’re not given the support they deserved.

      This is an indictment on some on the Left who are prepared to turn their backs on comrades for the sake of an easy life – except it never works. Zionists will take any attempt at reconciliation as a sign of weakness, which in this case indeed it is, and demand even more.

      There was a news Item during the week about the unrest in Thailand were some are objecting to the godlike control the king exerts over the people. Criticism of him is punishable with imprisonment or worse yet a young female student is leading the protests. It reminded me of the Labour Party but as yet we have no one who is bold enough to challenge Starmer.

      The Labour Party as a Socialist Party is now complicit in its own destruction under Starmer. Are those who are still members and profess to be Socialists going to continue to let it happen?

      1. Yes. Chris Williamson’s crucifixion was the beginning of the end. By this time Jeremy Corbyn had made such a a habit of appeasement that he was arguably already fatally wounded. But he should have made a stand at this point, whatever the consequences. It was not Corbyn’s finest hour, and the end was immediately foretold in this one failure to support a friend and true socialist, and effectively to through him under the bus.

      2. The danger i believe however is from voters who are not really socialists. I see many praising starmer and when i show them links like this they dont care.

    2. Perhaps I am being generous or charitable but do they know where this road will ultimately lead? Do they know who their preferred bed mates are? If they do then the country is in danger. I have seen things develop all around for four decades and some. What we have fought against since the enclosures has prevailed. No trumpets, no uniforms but the flick of a few switches. “What is to be done?”. It ain’t Leninism but someone please tell me. Have we been neutered. Lawdy, I need a safe space. Regards ☮️ good post Noel.

      1. There was hope Alex. It briefly flickered in Jeremy Corbyn. But he was too soft. You have to be hard with fire in your soul to take on the established order. Fire. Fight fire with fire. Lie down, try to reason with them and they will trample you under foot. He backed off. Then some more. Then some m ore. Until his back was against a wall. And they shot him.

      2. alexanderscottish, The problem is some of us have been asleep at the wheel, not looking out for the rocks. At sea we called it a radar assisted collision, i.e. not interpreting the signals correctly and not looking out of the bridge windows to see the obvious.

  8. What kind of a person would interpret a fundraising event to support needy Muslim or Christian Arab children as anti-Semitic – only a bigot an Islamophobe or an Anti Arab racist. Our party is now run by such people -Arab and Muslim lives don’t matter,

    1. Good comment smartboy…..fund raising event for Palestinians Christians and Muslims,.Yes our Zealot leader is targeting all of us not just those of the Moslem faith…I have been to the Holy land a number of times even at the start of the first intafada.I Wouldn’t dream of going now,the myth of Our holy sites being safe in Israeli hands is just that a myth…..Jerusalem was always an international city because of the historic sites and now?..Capital of Israel,they were happy enough with Tel Aviv when I went but now because of US money and emergence of the end of times evangelical nutters from the USA times have changed for us Catholic,Coptic and Orthadox Christians.The end of times for us if the Israeli government gets their way.and that barsteward Rodders the knight from Surrey keeps up with is racist secatarian bullshit..

      1. Yes Joseph the Christian minority is often overlooked. It was first highlighted to me when Justin Welby the Archbishop of Canterbury visited Christian Arabs in Bethlehem a few years ago – 2017 approx.- and spoke of his “profound sorrow” for them because of the conditions they had to live in. He was subsequently accused by the then President of the Board of Deputies Jonathon Arkush of “not doing enough to combat antisemitism”. So when the Chief Rabbi interfered in the political process prior to the last election Justin whose “profound sorrow” had apparently evaporated by that time jumped on the bandwagon and supported Rabbi Marvis in his condemnation of Jeremy Corbyn, the UK’s most vocal supporter of Palestinian ( Muslin and Christian) rights.
        This clearly demonstrates that these poor people cannot rely on a leading Christian churchman for sympathy never mind practical help – help which the Labour party considers antisemetic even if it is for little Arab children..

      2. Thanks jack …a very real threat to the Holy lands and by implication a threat to world peace The Israeli government.And the bit about the bible and translation of meaning I also agreed with.The end of times evangelical nutters from the USA want a world war…..and the Israeli government will give it along with the Saudi’s…Love or hate religion and I can understand why people do,its a fact of life that the worlds power brokers and rulers are in the “Thick of it”….a very good read,and educational.

      3. Joseph, if you liked Miko Peled’s article, try and get hold of a copy of his book THE GENERAL’S SON – The journey of an Israeli in Palestine, I’m sure you will enjoy reading it. Also check out his channel on YouTube. Miko has met Jeremy Corbyn and was devastated by the way he has been treated by Starmer.

        Miko was brought up in a staunchly Zionist family, his grandfather was a signatory on the Israeli Declaration of Independence in 1948. He is THE expert on the situation in Palestine and has renounced Zionism . If only he could one day become Israeli President….

    2. Smartboy. Quite. The new normal for your party. Run from Tel Aviv and choreographed by the RW media. A rope ladder for Tory boy Starmer to further his career, nothing more.

      1. SB that bishop of cant wouldn’t save his own flock from this lot how on earth he’d try save others is beyond him he’s not the balls for his job

  9. The dream of socialism today was crushed by all-powerful neoliberalism – this time – but can neoliberalism survive a rapidly growing world population, accelerating wealth inequality, AI/robotics mass redundancies, global warming, melting ice caps/rising sea levels and oceans choking on plastic – any number of which could reach tipping point over the next few decades?
    The many could lose patience with the few very fast due to any one of the above changes – with one or more global mass casualty events occurring while the rich cower safely in their bunkers – who knows?
    Look what Covid’s wreaked – don’t write off the unexpected.
    It doesn’t take genius to understand that the profit motive, unregulated, is responsible for all the above problems but one.

  10. Cause and effect , cause and effect ,,,,,,, the insanity of Starmer and it’s willing little wannabe dictator Evans .

  11. Lots of good people in the party. But there is no mechanism and the in power right wing will never allow the party to become a socialist party. Be brave guys and form a new party

    1. Very sadly I have come to think that is the only way forward. My membership coincidentally lapsed on the day of the payout to the so called ‘whistle blowers’, and very sadly nothing that has happened since has made me think I made the wrong decision in not subsequently renewing it.

      But what on earth has it come to when fund raising for Palestinian children is now apparently ‘out of order’. Whoever is responsible in these constituencies should hang their heads in shame and find a bit of backbone.

      1. Quite right jullia “what as it come to” .The fact that he was voted in by the majority who bothered to vote still shocks and hurts.The one responsible is our right wing Zealot leader the knight from Surrey.for the pathetic attempt to enshrine his evil on the children of Palestinian says everything of the moral bankruptcy of the Labour party….and my best guess is he will be allowed to by the catatonic members if they realise just what’s going on with the knight they installed.

  12. The General Secretary cannot ban the ‘content’ of meetings or ban free speech as described in section 10 of the Human Rights Act, nor can he ban associating with other members of the public because their views do not comport with current Labour party policy. In other words if you want to remain a rational, free thinking member of the human race, do not join the Labour party. it can damage your health [witness advice from the LP to see the Samaritan’s, M Machova’s letter] and since you pay subscriptions, you are paying them to abuse of you.

  13. FFS how many times have members have to be shown these cultists of New Labour 2.0 hate anything close to socialism. They want nothing to do with it within the party. So why the heck are you paying your membership still?

    Stay and fight say some. OK explain how our going to remove 95% of right-wing MP’s & Party workers? If this lot ignore the rules, the membership you have NO control and I am not waiting another 20 years before we can try again. Socialists need to stand up and demand a party that represents their views, The country needs on to be the dam opposition and the socialists need to stop supporting a dead idea. The Labour party of my parent’s era is dead the scum took it over. now we fight of I suspect in 5 years there will be no socialist MP in Labour. Then what will you do still support them just because you always have?

    There is no place for socialists under Labour stop giving them support, your vote and especially money. They walked away from us now is the time for a truly socialist party before Labour is just the Tory-lite party with an old name and no soul.

    1. 5years and it might be too late. When the paid staff realise that they’ve been assassins of the party what are they going say,

      “We were only obeying orders!”.
      Our wonderful Jewish comrades are the ones who realise the shuddering irony of this. They know,too polite and idealistic, still, to come out of it. The true face of AS rests with Max Headroom s backers. It’s truly evil.
      Socialists, humanitarians get out for god’s sake. Regards ☮️ x

  14. Hypothetically if there was a charity bike ride for the children of Israel Evans would not prevent this being discussed by CLPs across the country

  15. Trying this again, since I really want an answer for this, but for some reason you didn’t publish this in the previous thread. Please stop leaving me on moderation, it just comes across as you being intolerant of criticism and not being brave enough to engage with real critiques.

    Okay, I’m super curious, because I’m really not sure if you actually grasp some spectacularly basic concepts.

    For instance, do you believe that Jeremy Corbyn is capable of logical thinking? Like, do you believe he could have looked at what happened with Rebecca Long Bailey’s dismissal as Education Secretary after retweeting and sounding positive about the Maxine Peake Independent article, and perhaps taken that as a good sign as the kind of messaging that he SHOULDN’T be engaging in if he wants to retain any influence in the party?

    If you do believe he’s capable of logical thinking, then why are you removing his agency when you engage in apologia over his statement in response to the EHRC that triggered this whole mess. What did Corbyn THINK would happen if he made that statement, one that could be interpreted (rightly or wrongly) as trying to undermine the report, in the current climate where Labour’s top brass have gotten desperate to repair the party’s PR image in the minds of the wider public after how toxic the anti-semitism scandal has gotten?

    The fact of the matter is, I’ve been growing increasingly frustrated in recent months, especially what with the RLB sacking and of course the results of EHRC inquiry into anti-semitism in Labour, over what seems to be a staggering inability for some left wingers to keep their criticisms of Israel focused, on point, and not devolving into other really stupid conspiracy shit that sets back the movement.

    Our criticisms of the Israeli Government should consist of the following:

    a) We of course appreciate that Israel is a democratic country (albeit a very flawed one) and that the Jewish people still very much deserve a homeland and that there are legitimate threats that Israel tries to defend itself from,

    b) We do however have great big concerns about how the Israeli government have made laws designating Palestinian people as second class citizens and are committing massive human rights abuses including killing unarmed Palestinian citizens. And

    c) That the best way of resolving the conflict is a Two State Solution.

    Boom. Simple.

    What DOESN’T help this is inserting other really bad conspiratorial stuff in there. Stuff like linking the death of George Floyd to Israel as well as anything to do with any criticisms of big business people related to them being pro Israel being a state. Oh yeah, and calling the formation of Israel a “racist endeavour” is so unbelievably stupid and pointless as well (spoiler warning, pretty much every country ever in its formation came about from displacing other populations and treating others as second class citizens).

    Oh, and can we please stop using the term “Zionist” at this point? Yes, I know that a Zionist does not necessarily mean a Jew and vice versa, but at this point the term has become a language liability to any political campaigning on this issue because whenever the term gets brought up by someone, we then get the tedium of them having to explain for what feels like 7 million hours how repeatedly using “Zionist” as a negative term doesn’t make them anti-semitic. It doesn’t help that, when it comes to Labour, we had imbeciles like Livingstone saying that Hitler was a Zionist, which has further poisoned the term. Like, who the fuck cares if Adolf was as Livingstone claims he was? What exactly does this change about Hitler commanding that millions of Jews be killed?

    Even as someone who joined the party because of Corbyn and who still considers himself a big fan of Corbyn, the fact that we can’t sort this basic issue on how we target the Israeli government for criticism is so unbelievably infuriating.

    Also, I’m sorry, but as much as I do also have criticisms of stuff Starmer has done, at the end of the day I feel that people claiming to have some sort of affiliation with Labour should have been taking lessons from the US Presidential Election. In that election, the most important thing was to oust Trump and get someone (Biden) on board who, while not being the champion the left wants, is still nonetheless someone much more sensible and grounded and open to influence from the left. Similarly, in the UK, the most important thing is getting Johnson and his Tory government out and break their austerity stranglehold on the country that, by 2025, will have lasted lasted for the past 15 years.

    Again, I may not agree with every single one of Starmer’s words and actions, but at the end of the day? When it comes to the issues I care about (Universal Credit/welfare reform, ending Work Capability Assessments, ending Zero Hour contracts, better conditions and pay in the education sector as well as other sectors, drug decriminalisation/legalisation, judicial reform, and yes even trans rights), I still have INFINITELY more confidence that a Labour government would push progressive policies on those issues than I ever would for a Tory government. The sad fact about our electoral system is that unless we get electoral reform, our choices are binary. We either vote for the party that is best placed to unseat the ruling party, or we just end up letting the ruling party continue to make our lives a misery for another 5 years.

    1. Jon Milne your self absorption and apologies for corruption and perversions(biden)and acceptance of the Status quo “providing Labour win whatever the cost in morality and wellbeing of the working-class voters and the Labour party is effectively abandonment of “Society” .whilst rioting carrys on in France and elections are rigged by both republicans and democrats ,British forces excused for murder and black opps….you put forward the 2state solution in Palestine whilst our knight visits relatives in Israel and sneers at the plight of the Palestinians people.But don’t worry its all about winning!.Your veiws come straight from the propaganda machine that peddles the Big lie on a daily basis..unfortunately for you I think you actually believe it “so long as Labour win” Never mind the quality feel the width should be your epitaph comrade.But keep posting always good to listen to how to take us back a century..by supporting nu Labour.

      1. Joseph: First of all, you’re gonna have to provide a MASSIVE citation source for any claims of “rigged” elections. Trump is going through the courts right now attempting to prove this and is currently on a 1-40 overwhelmingly losing record.

        Now, putting that aside for a sec, why don’t I throw some particular policies at you:

        Employing and training 85,000 nurses over the span of 10 years
        Lifting 600,000 children out of poverty
        Lifting 1,000,000 pensioners out of poverty
        Doubling funding for every pupil under 18
        Adding 36,000 teachers
        Adding 274,000 teaching assistants
        Cutting NHS waiting times by 82%
        Getting NHS in-patient waiting lists down by 500,000
        Introducing the UK’s first ever minimum wage
        Creating 1.8 million new jobs
        Cutting long-term unemployment by 75%
        Doubling the number of apprenticeships
        Introducing the right to 24 days holiday
        And the right to 2 weeks paternity leave
        The longest period of low-inflation growth since 1960
        Writing off debt to the world’s poorest nations
        Adding 14,000 police officers
        Cutting crime by 35%
        Peace in Ireland
        Increasing criminal justice (court) budget by 21%
        Opening 2,200 Sure Start centres
        Bringing record literacy
        Bringing record numeracy
        Introducing free nursery places
        Doubling overseas aid
        Devolution for Wales and Scotland
        Banning fur farming
        Bringing the Human Rights Act into UK law
        The Gender Recognition Act
        26% increase in child benefit
        Introducing Winter Fuel payments
        Improvements to 1 million social homes
        Introduced Child Tax Credits
        3 million Child Trust Funds
        Cleanest beaches, rivers and air since the industrial revolution
        Scrapping Section 28
        Introducing Civil Partnerships
        Banning fox hunting
        Free TV licences to over 75s
        Free entry to art galleries and museums
        Smoking ban, the biggest boon to health in a century
        Free eye tests for over 60s
        Free bus travel for over 60s
        Cancer deaths down 50,000
        Free breast screening for 50-70 year olds
        Heart disease deaths down 150,000
        Creating less debt than the Tory government both before AND after them

        That’s a quite comprehensive list of positive policies and achievements of the New Labour governments. Yes, there’s a great big load of negatives as well (PFI, Iraq, Tuition fees), but I would still without any hesitation vote for any party that would ever give us the positive policies that New Labour did which made a difference for many people’s lives. Because again, the Tory austerity we’re experiencing right now, as well as the horrific mismanagement of Covid (which, in contrast, Starmer is getting a LOT of praise right now in mainstream media for the way he’s calling Johnson out on his failures in handling the pandemic), is what’s currently causing many to suffer right now.

        You are acting from an extreme position of privilege when you engage in historical revisionism and pretend like there totally can’t be any positive parties ever unless your chosen guy is in charge. Problem with that is that the buck stops at the top. As much as I hate to give ANY sort of praise to Boris Johnson, at least the guy was able to actually enforce obedience and loyalty from his MPs when he was outright withdrawing the whip from MPs who were openly contradicting him. Whereas under Corbyn, what action was ever taken against the MPs who were undermining him and at times openly defying him? Whatever happened to making it easier to deselect MPs? It’s not as though Corbyn wasn’t surrounded by plenty of allies who would have almost certainly backed him up if he were to pursued harassment and bullying claims against those who kept constantly attacking him. Why didn’t Corbyn ever withdraw the whip from any of these people?

        As I said, the buck stops at the top. I sympathise with what Corbyn went through, the guy was massive disproportionately vilified and harassed, But he was still Leader of the Labour Party and when failure happens, just like with any other business company, the one at the top has to take responsibility. And Corbyn simply failed to take decisive action to actually deal with the toxicity that cost Labour both the 2017 and 2019 elections. That’s the hard, cold truth.

      2. Smoking ban, like drink for the under 18s and drugs. No problem. Taxes?

    2. Israel is a racist endeavour. It has been from the start. Balfour was an anti-Semite. In 1905 when Jews were fleeing the Russian pogrom, he refused them entry to the UK on the ground they had done enough damage already. Have you read Theodor Herzl? He was a Jew hater. Before he came up with the idea of a Jewish State. he wanted the mass conversion of Jews to Christianity. This is what he wrote: “The Yid is a hideous distortion of the human character, something unspeakably low and repulsive…” Zionism proper began in anti-Semitism. And prior to that there was Christian Zionism, whose essential aim was to rid Europe of Jews.
      You say the Jews deserve a homeland. Do the Catholics, the Methodists, the Anglicans, the Hindus, the Buddhists, the atheists? Why should the Jews be an exception? Gandhi argued that the Jews should be like everyone else: citizens of the country they live in. The anti-Semites believe the Jews should be confined to their own country. There are 23 million Jews in the world, 12 million of them live in the USA. Only 6.5 million live in Israel. Why shouldn’t Jews live anywhere in the world and be welcome?
      You say most States have come into existence by settler colonialism. Just not true. Here’s the beginning of a list of those that haven’t: Ireland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Italy, France, Algeria, Morocco, Switzerland, Russia..Settler colonialism is the exception. The two great examples are the US and Israel.
      Using the term Zionism is accurate. Zionism is what gave birth to Israel. The history of Zionism is complex. Noam Chomsky was a Zionist youth leader. There as a liberal, democratic, egalitarian current in Zionism which got swamped by the racist, colonial variety. The Zionists call themselves Zionists. It’s what they identify as. Why should we stop using the term? Somone who doesn’t eat meat is a vegetarian. Someone who believes by divine right Jews are the custodians of Palestine, they are superior to Arabs and they must be allowed to use violence to impose their will is a Zionist. Being mealy-mouthed won’t help.

      1. Okay Frank? Cool story, but sadly I don’t care about anything that happened in 1905. To paraphrase the movie “Spaceballs”, it’s Now. Everything I care about are events that happening Now. We can’t go back to Then, because it passed just Now. So again, I don’t care if Israel is a racist endeavor. The United Kingdom is a racist endeavor, one that’s been built on oppression and displacement and death. The Kingdom of England spent centuries at war with Scotland, we had multiple different genocidal royal lines (Anglo-Saxons, Anglo-Normans, Tudors, Stuarts) and of course we know about some of the horrors committed during the British Empire. Does this mean that the United Kingdom should be completely disbanded? Hey, we should maybe give this country back to the Italians because the Romans were the ones that founded London?

        We can’t do anything about the fact that Israel exists right now. Was the process of founding Israel really badly done? Yeah, sure, but bear in mind there was a massive amount of public support and sympathy with Jewish people after the Holocaust, and there was great big consensus and support after World War II both among Jewish people, world governments and the general public for the Jewish people to have a central place they could call “home”. Again, it was poorly done, but again, Now is what matters. We have the existence of Israel, and there is no wider public support for “getting rid” of Israel, regardless of what your above implied solution idea suggests.

        Speaking of wider support, this is exactly why I talk about abandoning the use of the “Zionist” term in our political discourse, because our party needs to attract wider support from the public when it comes to presenting our policies and maintaining good PR. I guarantee that if I were to take a print-out of every single comment here and in other recent articles on Skwawkbox mentioning “Zionists” in any capacity, and then polled a good sample size of, say, 10,000 random people in the street, I would be willing to bet good money that an overwhelming majority would find those comments to be anti-semitic. Sure, it may not have been the intention of any commenters to be anti-semitic, but language matters, and again we need to sell our party as one people want to vote for. The problem this, the way the “Zionist” term constantly gets used in a negative way by people affiliated in some way with Labour, helps contribute along with other factors (like some of the ridiculous conspiracy theories I’ve mentioned before) to the perception (rightly or wrongly) that Labour is institutionally anti-semitic. If we want any chance of correcting this, we have to get messaging on-point, which is why my proposal that we keep our criticisms simple and to the point (criticising Human Rights abuses and advocating for a Two State solution) are a hell of a lot more viable than handicapping our movement with language that is perceived as racist and takes WAY too long to try and explain how it totally isn’t.

    3. Jon Milne
      Go to Jewish Voice for Labour website and then report back to us, they saved my sanity
      The reason you are wrong about Starmer is we know from Thatchers greatest creation how this ends, you forget he lost us 5 million votes, twas JC what pulled them back and should have won the 2017 GE but for the very same people who wake up every morning and campaign for the Conservative Party
      All we ask is they fuck off and form their own ersatz Tory party

      1. Doug, I’ll just repeat what I said to Josh:

        Employing and training 85,000 nurses over the span of 10 years
        Lifting 600,000 children out of poverty
        Lifting 1,000,000 pensioners out of poverty
        Doubling funding for every pupil under 18
        Adding 36,000 teachers
        Adding 274,000 teaching assistants
        Cutting NHS waiting times by 82%
        Getting NHS in-patient waiting lists down by 500,000
        Introducing the UK’s first ever minimum wage
        Creating 1.8 million new jobs
        Cutting long-term unemployment by 75%
        Doubling the number of apprenticeships
        Introducing the right to 24 days holiday
        And the right to 2 weeks paternity leave
        The longest period of low-inflation growth since 1960
        Writing off debt to the world’s poorest nations
        Adding 14,000 police officers
        Cutting crime by 35%
        Peace in Ireland
        Increasing criminal justice (court) budget by 21%
        Opening 2,200 Sure Start centres
        Bringing record literacy
        Bringing record numeracy
        Introducing free nursery places
        Doubling overseas aid
        Devolution for Wales and Scotland
        Banning fur farming
        Bringing the Human Rights Act into UK law
        The Gender Recognition Act
        26% increase in child benefit
        Introducing Winter Fuel payments
        Improvements to 1 million social homes
        Introduced Child Tax Credits
        3 million Child Trust Funds
        Cleanest beaches, rivers and air since the industrial revolution
        Scrapping Section 28
        Introducing Civil Partnerships
        Banning fox hunting
        Free TV licences to over 75s
        Free entry to art galleries and museums
        Smoking ban, the biggest boon to health in a century
        Free eye tests for over 60s
        Free bus travel for over 60s
        Cancer deaths down 50,000
        Free breast screening for 50-70 year olds
        Heart disease deaths down 150,000
        Creating less debt than the Tory government both before AND after them

        That’s a quite comprehensive list of positive policies and achievements of the New Labour governments. Yes, there’s a great big load of negatives as well (PFI, Iraq, Tuition fees), but I would still without any hesitation vote for any party that would ever give us the positive policies that New Labour did which made a difference for many people’s lives. Because again, the Tory austerity we’re experiencing right now, as well as the horrific mismanagement of Covid (which, in contrast, Starmer is getting a LOT of praise right now in mainstream media for the way he’s calling Johnson out on his failures in handling the pandemic), is what’s currently causing many to suffer right now.

        You are acting from an extreme position of privilege when you engage in historical revisionism and pretend like there totally can’t be any positive parties ever unless your chosen guy is in charge. Problem with that is that the buck stops at the top. As much as I hate to give ANY sort of praise to Boris Johnson, at least the guy was able to actually enforce obedience and loyalty from his MPs when he was outright withdrawing the whip from MPs who were openly contradicting him. Whereas under Corbyn, what action was ever taken against the MPs who were undermining him and at times openly defying him? Whatever happened to making it easier to deselect MPs? It’s not as though Corbyn wasn’t surrounded by plenty of allies who would have almost certainly backed him up if he were to pursued harassment and bullying claims against those who kept constantly attacking him. Why didn’t Corbyn ever withdraw the whip from any of these people?

        As I said, the buck stops at the top. I sympathise with what Corbyn went through, the guy was massive disproportionately vilified and harassed, But he was still Leader of the Labour Party and when failure happens, just like with any other business company, the one at the top has to take responsibility. And Corbyn simply failed to take decisive action to actually deal with the toxicity that cost Labour both the 2017 and 2019 elections. That’s the hard, cold truth.

    4. Israel a Democratic Country or an apartheid racist endeavour? A mono-culture being created by ethnic cleansing & genocide, while we wring our hands & watch. The Jewish people deserve a homeland but the Palestinian people do not. Only one religion deserves its own homeland, says so in the bible.

      The one state solution for Palestine would provide a country for Arab & Jew to live together, but the two state solution ensures that ethnic cleansing must always continue until ‘the Final Solution’. Keep bombing & shooting, the beating heart of America is here to stay..

      There can be no muslim refugees from the civil war torn neighbouring countries as Israel continues its illegal occupations & annexations, but we can keep our fingers crossed & let the BBC & BoD tell us what to do, as Julian Assange rots in a British jail we do nothing.

      Zionism, is by its own definition, racist.

      1. Steve, in 1988, people would have laughed and thought it ridiculous that we could ever achieve peace in Ireland, and yet 10 years later we had the Good Friday Agreement, providing a seamless border that stopped the fighting including all the “bombing and shooting”. Again, you are never ever going to persuade Israel or the wider international community for that matter that Israel should totally be disbanded anymore than you would have been able to convince either the UK government or the Irish government or the IRA that they should just totally give up on any “ownership” of Northern Ireland back in 1998 or now for that matter. A GFA style peace agreement for Israel and Palestine then, with two distinct states and a seamless border is evidentially then the best way to go, and much like what happened on the island of Ireland, the clear way of stopping all the “bombing and shooting”.

    5. John Milne, where to begin?

      Your lack of knowledge appears to be the reason for your frustration. Giving you the benefit of the doubt that you are not a Zionist but have bought the Zionist myths, Jews are not a people, they are a religion and no religion ‘deserves’ a homeland in the way you describe. I have an anti-Zionist Jewish friend, born and bred in Jerusalem who said “my ancestry is white Russian, I have no connection to the ancient Hebrews”.

      Israel is not a democracy, not even for Jews. Anyone including Jews not agreeing with the Zionist founding concept is ostracised and denied democratic rights. I have met Jews who have left Israel because of anti-Semitism, they are not considered to be Jews if they disagree with Zionism. Any state which declares that only those who follow ONE particular religion have the right to self determination is NOT a democratic State.

      It is very important that we describe things the way they are and not the way others want them to be described, which is why it is vital that we keep using the term ZIONIST. By doing so it differentiates Jews who do not want to be associated with Zionism from those who do.

      Even though it is the word they use to describe themselves, coined by Nathan Binbaum in 1883, it is often Zionists who complain about that term being used by others to refer to them because it is in their interests to conflate Zionism with Judaism. Zionism is a relatively modern concept to do with the colonisation of the Holy Land and has nothing at all to do with Judaism.

      As for a ‘two state solution’ why on earth should Palestinians, give up their right to live in the land of their ancestors for the sake of the Zionist colonisers? Don’t forget that hundreds of thousands of them were chased out of their homes and often murdered by the Zionists. The ONLY permanent solution is a single State with democracy for all. Having travelled extensively in Israel/Palestine I am amazed at the magnanimity of Palestinians who say they are quite prepared to live with Jews, even Zionists, despite the atrocities which have been inflicted upon them, if it was in a democratic country with everyone having equal rights.

      Again, don’t forget that hundreds of years ago Palestinians, whether they be Muslim, Christian or Jews used to live together quite peacefully. If you want to get a true picture of the past read ‘Palestine A Four Thousand Year History’ by Nur Masalah.

      I hope I have helped you to reconsider some of your misconceptions – particularly if you claim to be a Socialist.

      1. Was going ti comment on you John Milne but I think all the aboves has more than covered you off….
        Suffice to say just take a good look at the map of Isreal and Palestine and explain just how the fuck a 2 state solution is in any way or shape now possible !!

      2. Jack, I’ll tell you the same thing I told Frank: Cool story, but sadly I don’t care about anything that happened in 1905 or 1883. To paraphrase the movie “Spaceballs”, it’s Now. Everything I care about are events that happening Now. We can’t go back to Then, because it passed just Now. So again, I don’t care if Israel is a racist endeavor. The United Kingdom is a racist endeavor, one that’s been built on oppression and displacement and death. The Kingdom of England spent centuries at war with Scotland, we had multiple different genocidal royal lines (Anglo-Saxons, Anglo-Normans, Tudors, Stuarts) and of course we know about some of the horrors committed during the British Empire. Does this mean that the United Kingdom should be completely disbanded? Hey, we should maybe give this country back to the Italians because the Romans were the ones that founded London?

        We can’t do anything about the fact that Israel exists right now. Was the process of founding Israel really badly done? Yeah, sure, but bear in mind there was a massive amount of public support and sympathy with Jewish people after the Holocaust, and there was great big consensus and support after World War II both among Jewish people, world governments and the general public for the Jewish people to have a central place they could call “home”. Again, it was poorly done, but again, Now is what matters. We have the existence of Israel, and there is no wider public support for “getting rid” of Israel, regardless of what your above implied solution idea suggests.

        Speaking of wider support, this is exactly why I talk about abandoning the use of the “Zionist” term in our political discourse, because our party needs to attract wider support from the public when it comes to presenting our policies and maintaining good PR. I guarantee that if I were to take a print-out of every single comment here and in other recent articles on Skwawkbox mentioning “Zionists” in any capacity, and then polled a good sample size of, say, 10,000 random people in the street, I would be willing to bet good money that an overwhelming majority would find those comments to be anti-semitic. Sure, it may not have been the intention of any commenters to be anti-semitic, but language matters, and again we need to sell our party as one people want to vote for. The problem this, the way the “Zionist” term constantly gets used in a negative way by people affiliated in some way with Labour, helps contribute along with other factors (like some of the ridiculous conspiracy theories I’ve mentioned before) to the perception (rightly or wrongly) that Labour is institutionally anti-semitic. If we want any chance of correcting this, we have to get messaging on-point, which is why my proposal that we keep our criticisms simple and to the point (criticising Human Rights abuses and advocating for a Two State solution) are a hell of a lot more viable than handicapping our movement with language that is perceived as racist and takes WAY too long to try and explain how it totally isn’t.

      3. Jon Milne, to avoid getting dragged off into the long grass I will stick to the point about using the term Zionist. You have illustrated precisely why the public need educating about the meaning and intent of Zionism.

        The Labour Party has tried your approach of brushing it under carpet for seventy years and it hasn’t worked. It was only when Blair decided he was a Zionist and sucked up to them that they laid off and he was elected. But where did that get us? Arguably he did more damage to the Party than anyone else, a tactic which Starmer is trying to emulate.

        There is also the ‘little’ – to you, aspect of integrity. Are you a just a naked opportunist or a Socialist prepared to argue for Socialism and its benefits and prepared to fight for a government and parliament for which we can be proud?

      4. Dear Jon – if you do not learn from the past, you are doomed to repeat the mistakes of history. The State of Israel is being constructed today & during my lifetime. It is the beating heart of America transplanted into arab lands by religious zealots & racist colonialists who seek to eradicate an entire people to fulfill their demands made in the ‘old testament’. Young children are being murdered; shot by IDF & powerful MSM agencies lock away the truth & silence Julian Assange. For Investigative Journalism…….file under Fiction.

  16. I think more and more legal challenges are necessary to force decisions based on the IHRA to be overturned.
    Palestine Solidarity Campaign, have taken legal advice and surprise, surprise they are told the Council have acted illegally, full details below….
    “We have taken legal advice and have been informed that the decision was unlawful. Most fundamentally, the Council’s decision constituted an unlawful interference with the freedoms of expression, assembly and conscience combined with a misapplication of the IHRA definition of anti-Semitism”. https://www.palestinecampaign.org/psc-responds-to-ihra-being-used-to-shut-down-big-ride-for-palestine-event/

  17. Look how McDonnell responded to Hodge’s outburst against Corbyn in the Commons. She should have been reported to the parliamentary authorities. She should have been disciplined. McDonnell bleated “She’s a friend”. He advised Chris Williamson to go to his local synagogue and apologise. The Labour leadership was out of its depth. It believed it could placate the BoD, the CAA, the CST, the whole despicable crew of mendacious manipulators and they would say thank you and go away. These people are vicious. They support the shooting of children Gaza and the West Bank. They are racists. The believe Arabs are inferior to Jews. One of their most influential precursors said so. Chaim Weizmann remarked: “There is a qualitative difference between a Jew and an Arab”. Every Zionist believes that and by calling himself a Zionist supporter, Starmer agrees. Consider the sinking of the USS Liberty in 1967. The Israelis knowingly attacked a US spy ship in the Mediterranean killing and wounding hundreds of its crew. When L.B. Johnson leaked news of the Israeli treachery to the press, he was blackmailed: either shut up or the Zionist lobby will label you an anti-Semite and you will lose the coming election. Johnson rolled over. Think of the enormity of that: an American President blackmailed by the Israeli lobby. And it was Sharon who remarked that Israel controls the US and the US knows it. The mistake of the Labour leadership was to assume the complaints of anti-Semitic abuse were sincere. That all the Zionists wanted was an apology. What they what is absolute power, like that they exercise over Gaza and the WB. What they want is no dissent. And they are getting it because the Labour leadership was ignorant and cowardly.
    There are 300,000 Jews in the UK and 70% of them vote Tory. Such is the strategic stupidity of Starmer. There are millions of Muslims. It is easy to produce leaflets. Easy to push them through letterboxes or give them out on the street. If the Muslim vote starts to peel away from Starmer, he’s in trouble. We must get the message to the Muslims in our towns and cities: Labour is letting you down. Labour is a Zionist party which supports the Israeli oppression of the Palestinians. Starmer speaks in favour of Zionism, what has he every said in defence of Muslims? Islamophobia is a far greater problem in the UK than anti-Semitism. What action is Starmer taking? We can all do this. We all have laptops and printers. Keep your leaflet simple. Insult no one. Keep the language restrained. But make the point: Starmer is not on the side of the UK Muslims. Wear out a bit of shoe leather pushing them through letter boxes. Labour needs to feel the electoral peril in its position. That will make Starmer’s leadership untenable. Sounding off on Skwakbox is fine, but we must get the message out to the wider public and the palce to start is with the Muslims who overwhelmingly vote Labour. Get printing. Get distributing. Get away from your screen and into the streets. Give Starmer something to worry about. The Jewish vote does not decide elections in the UK. The Muslim vote can.

    1. I’d say that Frank’s two comments above would make the best leaflet, one on each side.

      Probably the best comments on this site since the last election. And I don’t normally approve of long comments!

  18. No one is going to vote for Temporary Embarrassment he is the Brexit denier candidate, the dishonourable gentleman who shafted us and tried to cheat the Leavers
    Doesn’t LEAVE a lot of the electorate LEFT

  19. As a member of the Labour Party & a Catholic I must clearly state that I feel afraid………afraid to speak my mind in case I am threatened by the Labour Party under New Management. I believe that Voltaire was right & I believe that Freedom of Speech & Expression is an integral part of Democracy that is being eroded & threatened. Taking instruction from representatives of any religion is frightening & a recipe for sectarian division.

    As a Catholic, I am legally discriminated against by law, ‘The Act of Settlement’. No religion, however powerful, should ever have the power to control any political party, neither dictate policy nor make demands.

  20. Frank, some good points, but the Labour right has TWICE proved its willingness to throw elections rather than risk a left wing win.
    As a strategy to defeat them, relying on influencing the Muslim vote is flimsy at best.
    Your assessment of UK Muslims’ voting practices could be thought offensive in the same way that speaking of British Jewry as if it were an undifferentiated mass can be offensive.
    “Labour is letting you down” – and then what – for which party should Muslims vote instead – Tory or LibDims?

    No strategy is of much use in the absence of a left wing alternative party Frank, when you understand that winning elections is very much secondary to keeping Socialism out of government to the majority of Labour’s PLP.
    if we couldn’t win back control of the parliamentary party and the Labour machine even with Corbyn’s massive popularity what chance do we have short of another cosmic fluke like his nomination?
    Better to be born again with a better manifesto, better rules, better members and BETTER BOUNCERS ON THE DOOR.

  21. Dear Jon Milne,
    thank you for reminding me……B4 we leave the EU we need to claim compensation against Italy for the Roman Invasion.

    1. Steve, but where would we be without concrete? I know I’m going to regret asking that question 🙂

    2. And by the way, I don’t think the Romans considered themselves to be Italian at that time?

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