Why the BBC wants you to think #GE17 was all about #Brexit


On Tuesday, campaigner Peter Stefanovic posted a video exposing BBC News’ lamentable ‘framing’ of yet another Tory u-turn – this time Theresa May’s abject failure to keep a manifesto promise to cap energy prices, allowing British Gas to announce an eye-watering 12.5% increase in electricity prices:

But this wasn’t the only case of slanted narrative-framing that took place on the news channel on Tuesday.

BBC News spent much of  the day running and re-running a video piece based on analysis – analysis the BBC itself had commissioned and for which it therefore set the terms of reference – of General Election results in relation to Brexit, in which it concluded that the election in June was the ‘Brexit election’.

Both the written article and the video segment mention the surge in Jeremy Corbyn’s popularity, but it’s treated as secondary to the main ‘Brexit election’ point. This was highly misleading –…

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Video: Duncan says protesters HERE lucky not to be shot/gassed #Venezuela


For some time now, the SKWAWKBOX has been predicting privately that it was only a matter of time before desperate, integrity-free Tories or their mouthpieces tried to ‘weaponise’ Venezuela to attack Jeremy Corbyn. They’re scraping the bottom of the barrel and coming up empty on everything else, so it was inevitable.

Sure enough, Tory Minister Alan Duncan got the ‘desperation short-straw’ and was all over BBC News this morning.


A sweating and uncomfortable-looking Mr Duncan tried hard to appear outraged about Venezuela, demanding that Jeremy Corbyn ‘publicly condemn’ Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, ‘or else we’ll have a very good idea what he stands for‘.

caracas-clashes_2838416bProtesters throw ‘Molotov cocktail’ fire-bombs in Caracas, Venezuela

Tories don’t have hearts, of course, but if Duncan did have one, it wouldn’t have been in it because even he must know how desperate it sounds. Or perhaps he was just cognisant of his own…

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Important: Labour marginals candidate selection – please read and share


top 80 croppedAs the SKWAWKBOX covered last week, Labour’s NEC (National Executive Committee) has signed off on a change of procedure for the selection of parliamentary candidates in eighty key target seats the party aims to win in the next General Election.

Previously for many years the NEC has appointed a panel of NEC members to run selections – which many members feel has resulted in the selection of too many ‘parachuted-in’ candidates or who align with the usually right-wing views of selectors.

But for these eighty seats, local members will elect the selection panel before voting on a shortlist of candidates selected by that panel – a hugely welcome improvement to the party’s internal democracy and a massive opportunity to bring the make-up of the parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) more into line with the party’s membership.

Below is a list (taken from here) of the 80 seats, along with the…

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Exclusive: CLP bans ‘old men’ phrase re council exec appointments


In early June, the SKWAWKBOX published an article concerning ‘nine old white men’ – Tory men – who had been allowed to dominate a BBC Question Time election special just before voters went to the polls. The article contained an image of the men that clearly struck a chord as it went viral, appearing in posts and articles all over social media:

9-old-white-menEven comedian Joe Lycett picked up the image and had a little fun with it.

But the image’s serious message seemed to be what drove its virality – and, just possibly, it’s still resonating.

One CLP (constituency Labour party) in the north-west of England has caused consternation among its members by passing a resolution banning the phrase ‘old white-haired men‘ or similar after controversy over the appointment to the executive of the Council of twelve older men and one women 

The CLP is organised on a…

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Members to control candidate selections in 80 marginals this autumn


A crucial victory was achieved by the left at the NEC meeting last week, where Tom Watson’s absence allowed decision to pass that will be welcomed by the vast majority of Labour members.

ballot box redAfter the frustration of having to accept imposed candidates because of the short notice of the General Election, local Labour members will control the candidate selection in key marginal seats this autumn.

CLPs will elect a ‘procedures committee’ that will oversee the process and draw-up a shortlist for members to vote on – ins CLPs with a branch/general committee structure, branches, together with affiliated unions and societies, will be able to nominate candidates.

As the next General Election could be any time between in the next five years, Labour is looking to have candidates in place in readiness and the NEC’s decision will allow members in target marginal seats – around 80 are believed to be on…

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Exclusive: race/homophobia accusations and denial in Ealing council selections


Ealing Labour council candidate selections have been problematic for some time. In February, a story broke about unreasonable hurdles placed in the path of candidates that seemed clearly designed to prevent Corbyn supporters being selected – and which resulted in eighteen of nineteen pro-Corbyn candidates being rejected at the first stage when Labour’s documentation says most people should get past that stage.

‘Ealing Labour  for Corbyn’ even made a video about it:

That’s dire enough. But new information received by the SKWAWKBOX suggests the problems in Ealing are far from over – and local members continue to believe that the problems are politically driven, with one telling this blog:

The selection meeting results were nullified by region – because the right didn’t…

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Blair stopped Corbyn’s #deselection? No, he wanted ‘show-trials’


Former Labour Chief Whip Hilary Armstrong has made a clumsy attempt in Saturday’s Guardian to guilt supporters of Jeremy Corbyn into abandoning hopes of democratically deselecting obstructive MPs – by claiming that Tony Blair saved the Labour leader from a similar fate:

corbyn blair guardian.pngAccording to the Guardian,

Armstrong tells The Westminster Hour on BBC Radio 4 that Blair ruled out the move, taking the view that the party was “a broad church” and could “tolerate that level of difference”, despite Corbyn’s fierce and persistent criticism of his administration.

This leads the newspaper to describe Blair as Corbyn’s “highly surprising secret benefactor”.

A little history is inconvenient for this version of events.

In 2004, there were moves to arrange the ‘show trial’ deselection of MPs considered to be troublesome – or showing ‘serial disloyalty’ as it was described – to then-PM Blair, including one Jeremy Corbyn. A senior Labour source at the…

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