Wednesday, 8 August 2018




Anti-Corbyn campaign


I'm 66 years old, and have never seen such a concentrated, vicious and deliberately inaccurate character assassination campaign as this. It isn't just Israel, though I'm sure that they are stoking the fire, but also the establishment, which is terrified that a real socialist will bring about a more equal society and redistribute their obscene wealth to the rest of society.
The anti-semitism furore is mostly manufactured and I haven't heard a single example, and certainly nothing which would justify the incredible attacks on Corbyn. It is clear that this campaign is targetted at Corbyn, as apparently there was no problem with anti-semitism before he was elected leader. The msm, especially the BBC, has a great responsibility for this campaign, with endlessly repeated stories of faux outrage at relatively banal and benign measures e.g. the definition of anti-semitism, which has been fully adopted apart from part of one example.

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

universal; credit forms impossible

to credit: jovike via photopin cc
More than a third of people helped by Citizens Advice struggle to provide the evidence needed to complete their Universal Credit claim, new research from the charity finds.
With government data showing late Universal Credit payments are usually due to challenges submitting evidence, Citizens Advice asked people who came to the charity for help how difficult it was to meet these requirements. Of the people helped who qualify for extra costs under Universal Credit:
  • 48% found it difficult to provide evidence for health conditions
  • 40% found found it difficult to provide evidence for housing
  • 35% found it difficult to provide evidence for childcare
The charity also found that people receiving their first full payment late stood a higher chance of getting into greater debt, or falling into it. When people didn’t receive their first Universal Credit payment on time, their chances of being in debt increased by a quarter (23%). They were also 60% more likely to borrow money from a lender to help tide them over.
One mum-of-two had to wait an extra three weeks for her first full Universal Credit payment, which covered her rent. She was not told to bring her tenancy agreement to her Jobcentre appointment and struggled to get another appointment quickly. In the meantime, she went to a foodbank and borrowed money from friends and family members to tide her over.
As people must wait 5 weeks before receiving their first Universal Credit payment, their finances are often already stretched. This is particularly problematic if they have no income beyond an Advance Payment, which they are required to apply for. Any delays to this mandatory wait can then be more acute.
In total there are 10 stages to making a Universal Credit claim, many of which are time sensitive. If a deadline is missed, a claim may have to be started again. Some people are finding the process so complex that 1 in 4 people who were helped by Citizens Advice spent more than a week completing their claim.
the facts are for disabled people the dwp has information going back years they have the information there is no need to pile on pressure to disabled people who have a big enough struggle on cut benefits the budget for pips is25% lower than disability living allowance meaning the replacement benefit is much less to the claimant just another case of unnecessary bullying of society's most vulnerable many case workers from social services are very little help seeking to palm off help to well overwhelmed citizens advice  bureau universal credit is a catastrophic mess

Friday, 27 April 2018

bnp and ukip mayboth be almost dead but a camouflaged version remains

he Football Lads Alliance (FLA) are
trying to use the tragic deaths at the
Manchester arena last May to peddle
their Islamophobic agenda. They plan to
march in the city on Saturday 19 May.
And the ‘Democratic’ Football Lads
Alliance (DFLA) is to march alongside
Tommy Robinson, former leader of the
English Defence League, in London on
Sunday 6 May.
For all the FLA’s talk of being “united
against extremism”, their real agenda has
become clearer in recent months.
The Premiership has now issued a
warning to clubs about the FLA and its
links to right wing extremists.
The far right was allowed on the FLA’s
most recent outing in Birmingham in
March when around 2,000 joined its racist
FLA founder John Meighan welcomed
fascist Tommy Robinson onto their
protest. The main speaker at their rally
was Anne Marie Waters, a notorious
Islamophobe who leads the far right For
Britain party.
And racist abuse was dished out at
Asian bystanders as the FLA marched
Newspapers such as the
, have reported on the racism
and Islamophobia at the heart of the FLA.
Their secret Facebook page is full of racist
and Islamophobic posts.
These have included threats to the
shadow home secretary Diane Abbott and
the London mayor Sadiq Khan.
FLA supporters have also expressed
support for Darren Osborne, the man
who carried out the murderous assault on
Finsbury Park mosque in north London.
It is now clear that the FLA is pushing a
racist and Islamophobic agenda and is
openly working with the far right.
Stand Up To Racism does not believe
that we should let their growth go
unchallenged. That’s why we’re calling
on anti-racists, trade unionists, faith
groups and campaigners to join our
demonstration opposing the DFLA
in London on 6 May, and the FLA in
Manchester on 19 May.
Our demos are supported by leading
trade unionists and campaigners. In
Manchester the protest is also backed
by three local MPs, the Labour leader of
Manchester City Council, and many others.
Don’t let racism divide us.
Oppose the rise
of the Football
Lads Alliance
Stand Up To Racism factsheet
far right
groups are gaining support,
from the Nazi Front National
in France to Victor Orban’s
antisemitic and Islamophobic
government in Hungary.
In the US Donald Trump’s
racism encouraged fascists to
go onto the streets, such as in
Charlottesville where Heather
Heyer was murdered last
In Britain the far right has
declined. Thanks to anti-
fascist campaigning the Nazi
British National Party no
longer has MEPs and scores
of councillors and the English
Defence League (EDL) can no
longer mobilise thousands.
The electoral success of the
xenophobic UKIP has also
been halted and reversed.
But the Tories under Theresa
May still scapegoat migrants,
refugees and the Muslim
community and are egged on
by the right wing press.
This has fuelled racism
against Muslims on the
In the wake of terrorist
attacks in Manchester and
London Bridge last year,
groups such as the FLA began
to talk of Muslims as an
enemy within.
They push the same
narrative about Muslims as
racists did about black and
Asian people in the 1970s and
Jewish people in the 1930s.
Muslims are not the
“problem” or the “enemy”.
And football should be for
We can’t allow racist
marches that scapegoat one
section of our society to go
unopposed on the streets of
our multicultural cities.
It’s time to make a stand.
Stand up against the growth of the racist right
Sunday 6 May, 12pm,
Speakers’ Corner,
Hyde Park, London W2 2EU
For more information see the facebook
event “Oppose Tommy Robinson and the
Democratic Football Lads Alliance”
Saturday 19 May, 11am
Manchester Piccadilly Gardens
For more information see the facebook
event: “Manchester demonstration: Don’t let
the racists divide us”
• Sign the petition against the FLA marching
in Manchester at:
Tommy Robinson, Nazi
Nazi Tommy Robinson is a poster boy for
the far right—and is treated like a celebrity
on FLA marches.
He was leader of the fascist English
Defence League (EDL), a street movement
that sought to terrorise Muslims.
Under Robinson’s leadership EDL
members engaged in violent assaults on
Muslims, trades unionists and
Robinson is also a former member
of the Nazi British National Party. He
sees the FLA and DFLA as a potential
recruiting ground for his fascist ambitions.
Robinson has called a far right gathering
at Speakers’ Corner in London on 6 May
and the DFLA have said they will join it.
Anti-racists must oppose them.
The FL A’s far
right friends
Who are the
The Democratic Football Lads Alliance
(DFLA) broke with John Meighan’s FLA
leadership after falling out over money.
But their politics are just as racist.
They have linked up with what’s left of
the racist Ukip party (see below). Ukip
leader Gerard Batten spoke at the DFLA
rally in Birmingham in March. His speech
was unashamedly Islamophobic.
And Ukip MEP Bill Etheridge spoke
at their rally in Telford and they worked
together building for their rally in
Rochdale. Other figures on the Telford
protest included Mo Fyaz, a close associate
of Tommy Robinson.
The DFLA also work with Veterans
Against Terrorism , a deeply Islamophobic
group. The two groups have organised
marches in towns where police and
authorities have failed victims of child
sexual exploitation. They are trying to
push the racist lie that sexism and abuse
are specific to Muslim men.
UKIP link up
with street
Ukip are hoping to rebuild their base
by appealing to the far right because
they looked set for a total wipeout in the
English local elections in May.
Their MEP Bill Etheridge invited former
members of the fascist English Defence
League to join Ukip and make it into a
“real force”.
Ukip funder Lord Pearson recently met
with leading far right figures in the House
of Lords. At the meeting were the leaders
of Veterans Against Terrorism, Nazi Toni
Bugle and members of the DFLA.
We cannot let Ukip revive through
realigning the forces of the far right.
Anne Marie Waters,
leader of far right
For Britain
Anne Marie Waters set up the far right
For Britain party after she was judged too
Islamophobic even for the racists of Ukip.
Waters said the “only evil we have
legalised is Islam”. In an undercover
ITV programme, last year, Waters
referred to Muslims, as “these f***ers”.
She went onto say, “Stop all Muslim
immigration now.”
Waters launched the UK arm of
the racist Pegida organisation in 2016,
along with Tommy Robinson.
Waters, like Robinson and the FLA,
admires Donald Trump. His anti-
Muslim bile encourages them.
She spoke at the FLA’s Birmingham
march. Waters said that Robinson
was welcome to join her new group,
“Regardless he can’t stand for election
because of his record.
“But I’ll certainly open up the party
for him to join”.
She is also linked to Generation
identity (GI), a European far right group.
FLA leader quits,
but danger remains
John Meighan, the founder of the FLA, has
quit the movement. Pressure from anti-
racists and internal criticisms inside the
FLA saw Meighan fending off accusations of
financial irregularities.
His boasts about a 20,000 strong turnout
by the FLA in Birmingham also came to
nothing when only 1-2,000 marched.
But while Meighan’s departure is a
victory nobody should think it heralds the
end of the FLA. If anything his resignation
could make it easier for the fragmented
‘movement’ to come together.
It’s just as important to mobilise against
the FLA in Manchester now as before
Meighan jumped ship.
Stand Up To Racism is a broad based
organisation made up of anti-racists,
students, trade unionists and faith groups.
We organise various activities and
events aimed at challenging the rise of
racism. For more information and to help
with our campaigns, please get in touch:
Tommy Robinson (centre) was mobbed when he joined an FLA demo in London
Geoff Dexter
‘Stand Up To Racism’

Wednesday, 11 April 2018


Cambridge Analytica
The Cambridge Analytica Files
Facebook and Cambridge Analytica face class action lawsuit
Lawyers in UK and US allege four firms misused personal data of more than 71m people

Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress over Facebook data scandal – live
Owen Bowcott and Alex Hern

Tue 10 Apr 2018 16.45 BST First published on Tue 10 Apr 2018 14.09 BST
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 Woman with laptop and cellphone
 The lawsuit claims the firms obtained Facebook users’ private data to develop ‘political propaganda campaigns’ in the UK and the US. Photograph: Getty Images
British and US lawyers have launched a joint class action against Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and two other companies for allegedly misusing the personal data of more than 71 million people.

The lawsuit claims the firms obtained users’ private information from the social media network to develop “political propaganda campaigns” in the UK and the US.

Facebook, it is said, may initially have been misled, but failed to act responsibly to protect the data of 1 million British users and 70.6 million people in America. The data, it is suggested, was first used in the British EU referendum and then in the US during the 2016 presidential election.

As well as Cambridge Analytica, the two firms named in the legal writ are SCL Group Limited and Global Science Research Limited (GSR).

Steve Bannon, Donald Trump’s former campaign and White House adviser, led Cambridge Analytica in 2014, when the data was collected and extracted, the legal papers state. 

The Cambridge University neuroscientist Aleksandr Kogan, a founding director of GSR, is also named. 

Cambridge Analytica was set up in 2013 as an offshoot of SCL Group, which offered similar services to businesses and political parties. 

How to check whether Facebook shared your data with Cambridge Analytica
 Read more
All the companies and Kogan have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Cambridge Analytica on Monday again rebutted many claims made about the company’s business. It argued, among other things, that it only ever received data on 30 million US citizens; that it did not use the data at all in the Trump campaign or the Brexit referendum; and that the Facebook data it received was legally obtained through a Facebook tool. “It has become open season for critics to say whatever they like about us based on speculation and hearsay,” the acting chief executive, Alexander Tayler, said.

The claim, the first involving British citizens, has been lodged in the US state of Delaware where Facebook, SCL and Cambridge Analytica are all incorporated. Seven individual plaintiffs, all Facebook users, are named in the writ; five American and two British. The numbers may expand as the case proceeds. 

It has been brought under the US Stored Communications Act. US lawyers said the legislation provides for a minimum $1000 (£700) penalty for any violation found by a court, meaning that, if the case goes against Facebook, it could face damages in excess of $70bn.

Jason McCue, of the London-based McCue and Partners, which specialises in data privacy and human rights law, is leading the UK arm of the claim.

He said: “The defendants effectively abused the human right to privacy of ordinary Facebook users and, if that were not enough, then the fruits of that abuse are alleged to have undermined the democratic process. This case will go some way to ensure that neither of these things can happen in the future.”

The extracted data included names, phone numbers, mail and email addresses, political and religious affiliations, and other interests. It was used, it is said, “to accomplish Cambridge Analytica’s driving principle: to build psychological profiles of voters to affect election results in the UK and the US”.

While Kogan’s GSR was granted permission by Facebook to collect data for academic research, the lawsuit maintains, it ended up being used for political and commercial purposes.

Kogan created a personality quiz that required individuals to use their Facebook login credentials to take part. Approximately 270,000 Facebook users installed the application and gave their personal information to Kogan and Cambridge Analytica. The design of the application, however, allowed Kogan and Cambridge Analytica to harvest the personal information of more than 72 million Facebook users who were friends of the original 270,000 users. 

In the US, Robert Ruyak, the co-lead counsel in the lawsuit, said: “Facebook utterly failed in its duty and promise to secure the personal information of millions of its users, and, when aware that this … information was aimed against its owners, it failed to take appropriate action.” 

Richard Fields, of the Washington law firm Fields PLLC, said: “Facebook has made billions of dollars selling advertisements targeted to its customers, and in this instance made millions selling advertisements to political campaigns that developed those very ads on the back of their customers’ own … personal information. That’s unacceptable, and they must be held accountable.”

Quick guide
How the story unfolded


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News of the lawsuit came on the day Facebook started to notify individual victims of Cambridge Analytica’s data harvesting operation, allowing the specific group of affected users to come forward for the first time.

In early April, Facebook released aggregate figures of those it believed to be affected. Worldwide, it estimated that 87 million people had had their information harvested by the app, This is Your Digital Life, created by Cambridge Analytica and Kogan.

The social network has since broken that figure down by country: the vast majority of those whose information was “improperly shared with Cambridge Analytica” were in the US (more than 70 million people), but substantial numbers of those affected were in the UK (1.1 million), Canada (600,000), India (550,000) and Australia (310,000).

Most of those users will have had their information – including their public profile, page likes, birthday and home town – uploaded through no direct action of their own. Instead, one of their friends would have logged in to Kogan’s app and gave it permission to extract their friends’ data, probably unknowingly. 

Just 300,000 people worldwide – including 56 people in Australia and 10 in New Zealand, as well as an unknown number of users in the UK – were sufficient to gather the full data set.

Tell us how you've been affected by the Facebook data breach
 Read more
Facebook has made a commitment to proactively inform those whose data was taken by Cambridge Analytica, and on Tuesday the company made available a tool to allow users to check for themselves.

As the scandal has grown, the systematic weakness of Facebook’s access controls in the first half of this decade has prompted concerns that Cambridge Analytica may just be the tip of the iceberg.

Facebook has confessed to another unrelated data leak, with more than a billion profiles being “scraped” due to a feature that allowed users to look at pages by entering a phone number or email address.

The company has not yet made a commitment to informing users of whether they were caught up in any of these other data leaks.THANKS TO UK GUARDIAN FOR USE OF THIS CONTENT