Sperm, Sperm and More Sperm

I’m not talking about one of those swinging parties your mum and dad go to, for the last week a number of stories about a decline in sperm count have floated about the news sites, some have declared the human race could go extinct, (yes that was The Sun) and the story has sparked a certain amount of interest, people online are hypothesising as to why it has dropped at such a dramatic rate of 40% in 60 years, discussion have begun on what could be leading to such a change. Research conducted by “The Human Reproduction Update” was based on 200 studies of men across North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, was apparently one of the largest studies ever conducted of it’s kind and one that spans nearly four decades.

The lead researcher is a Dr Hagai Levine who quite bluntly says “if the trend continued humans would become extinct.”

Possible flaws

There are some flaws shown in previous studies done elsewhere, while the 4 places in question apparently show a sharp decline, similar studies done in Africa, Asia and South America do not show the same results. It has been noted that there has only been a small number of studies on these continents; apparently some older studies exist that do show the same steep decline but critics have said they were flawed studies; some of them have only been conducted using a relatively small group of men while others involved only men who are attending fertility clinics, could it be possible the western study has similar flaws?

Well some argue no it isn’t, Prof Allan Pacey of Sheffield University, has said;

“I’ve never been particularly convinced by the many studies published so far claiming that human sperm counts have declined in the recent past, however, the study today by Dr Levine and his colleagues deals head-on with many of the deficiencies of previous studies.”

Other critics have questioned the study saying there may have been an over estimation of sperm count in early studies and others feel that such studies are more likely to be published in scientific journals and gain particular praise where a study showing no decline would not be given the same recognition, while that sounds pretty cynical there is some truth to that.

A final point i’d like to include is while it’s easy to show that this has happened in the last 60 years, i’d like to know if there are any trends that can be seen as the time scale is broken down, having a closer look may lead to closer understanding and help explain the reasoning behind certain speculations into what is causing such a drop, it may even help explain how to tackle it going forward, which leads me on to…


Possible causes?

The fun part after the initial panic is the amount of speculation people have regarding the cause, while the study shows the numbers it doesn’t explain why it is happening, until further studies are done it won’t, which leaves it open to the media, commentators and think tanks to speculate on the subject.

The great thing about such a story is it leaves plenty of room to create follow on pieces such as the Telegraph’s The male fertility crisis: Five ways to boost your sperm count, the Daily Mail’s Why a simple salad garnish could be the key to boosting sperm count and reducing stress, claim experts the Guardian’s The infertility crisis is beyond doubt. Now scientists must find the cause and the Mirror’s Fertility expert reveals how to boost your sperm count as levels found to be at all-time low. Hopefully the initial piece created enough panic for you to start taking notice of your genitals and luckily the media if here to offer you much needed guidance but hopefully you weren’t too panicked as they sadly made you wait 24 hours for a follow up.

The possible causes are a list of things from obesity, diet, smoking, the use of laptops and electrical goods, not enough exercise, cycling (or not cycling), having a bath. There isn’t anything that has been found to be a sole reason as of yet, some are speculating whether it’s the change in ideals; the growth of a more liberal society and progressive ideals or the increasing difficulty in finding a partner as a result of those things but i can’t see how that would be the cause even in extreme circumstances, if you can prove that these ideals have caused depression and anxiety which therefore can be linked to lowering sperm count you then have to prove there’s been an increase in depression but at the same time if that can be achieved it doesn’t look very good for the western male that is supposed to be at the forefront of progressivism. With a varied set of studies spanning multiple continents you have the added benefit of there being different weather conditions and lifestyles and it’s generally believed that an increase in vitamin D can benefit people with depression.

There was also a recent piece in Vice which links depression and anxiety to high sugar diets but again it’s not like sugar isn’t available all over the world, if the studies done in Africa, Asia and South America are anything to go on it isn’t necessarily the cause but it’s probably worth noting the average health differences and lifestyle of people from these continents.

Conclusion

While it’s generally rule of thumb that you take such studies with a pinch of salt, it could generally be true that a pattern of sperm decreasing can be shown, that’s not to say it has decreased for everybody and different people will have different results, some may not be affected in any way. It’s also a wonder who has been supplying the white stuff for these tests as it’s not very common for men to provide sperm unless there’s a fertility problem and finally you also hope that men of different shapes and sizes, different diets and lifestyles were used in the studies and that there was no bias in the studies.

One hopes that further studies will be done to try and find patterns in the cause of such problems.

The Most Shambolic General Election In History? Ask Theresa May

What went wrong! Well…pretty much everything, what started as a questionable decision to hold a snap election descended into some kind of slapstick comedy sketch where the Prime Minister was the unlikeable buffoon, even the creator of the thick of it could see his show coming to life as the conservatives tried their luck with a fustratingly bad manifesto and an overly confident attitude.

Holding an election wasn’t well thought out, even Gordon Brown decided against the idea back in 2007 after hearing about George Osborne’s pledge to increase the inheritance tax threshold, it would have put an end to the labour goverment very quickly but not holding the election equally caused problems and dented his popularity for the rest of his leadership. In the PM’s case she previously seemed to be flying high after successfully beginning brexit talks, drafting article 50 and having it passed in parliament by 498 to 114, without any hint of irony she looked “strong and stable,” like a force to be reckoned with in the face of a bitter European Union and a weak looking shadow cabinet but boy did that change drastically.

gordon
Innitially she wan’t going to hold a snap election, but her party had put pressure on the PM who had increasingly knocked back the idea but almost overnight she had changed her mind, the election came about so suddenly that it like a way to kill some time before the Brexit negotiations began in June. At the time of announcing the election the opinion polls were in favour of the Prime Minister and the conservatives were overwhelmingly above Labour in voting intentions; the highest recorded gap was a 25% lead on the 19th April (Con = 50%, Lab = 25%.) The news media also increasingly held her in high regards and spent the previous months of the year hailing her as the “new iron lady” but it wasn’t long before she started looking like a delicate wallflower.

The real turning point came when Labour released their manifesto, the conservatives were hot headed and arrogant in their surety they were to win by a landslide, they treated it like it was a victory parade rather than a serious election while Labour were treating it with the upmost importance. In the Tory’s minds it was all about Brexit and that was evident in their policies; they weren’t full of hope like Labours were, there was little change, they had some really bad proposals that punished the pensioners whose votes they often relied upon, school children, internet users and even foxes. They even proposed staying in the European convention of human rights for the next parliament which annoyed many Brexiters who want total withdrawal and to the Britain to regain full control. They did have a pledge to reduce immigration but as Labour pointed out they have failed to reach any of their targets previously and have a long way to go to doing so. Labour themselves proposed scrapping the targets as they felt they weren’t realistic in an economy that forever changes with new requirements but vowed to reduce the amount of immigration too.

manni
What the conservatives had to offer didn’t seem very attractive, meanwhile Labour’s rather lengthy manifesto was well thought out and inspired major change, they had not put in any half measures, not only had they come up with a plan of action but they had also given details on how they were to enforce these policies and how it would work fiscally (there were however some errors.) While it can be argued that their proposals were in some ways unrealistic, they were still widely attractive to a great number of people who are ready to see major change in the way the country is governed.

Things started to shift with the manifesto that seemed quickly thrown together, at the time of Labour releasing their final version the conservatives didn’t look to be even close to finishing theirs, when it was finally released it didn’t seem very well thought through in comparrison to the shadow cabinet and even those who had doubts about Labours ability to enforce their proposed changes efficiently were impressed with their ambition.

com
There was a considerable change in the wind when it was revealed that the PM had no intention to appear in a live debate, she seemed to have anxiety about the prospect, it wasn’t the fact she would be facing Jeremy Corbyn, she faces him every week in Parliament but in that setting it’s all rowdy jest and witty comebacks, techniques that don’t work so well in the real world, her real fear was the public and not being able to win them over or argue her case effectively. Some had made their mind up from the manifestos alone but support for the conservative party really started to wane and increase for Labour when she chickened out of doing proper TV debates.

Then there was the disasterous interviews that earnt her the nickname “The Maybot” as she was found to be stuck in a loop of repeating herself “strong and stable, strong and stable,” it almost sounded like a mantra she was repeating to herself to stop from malfunctioning, those buzzwords and examples of neuro linguistic programming that MPs are taught to use aren’t anything new but the most effective people use them subtlely, Jeremy uses but within a wider vocabulary and with genuine ease, Theresa May however is not subtle in any way, shape or form. For a long time it seemed to be just Labour MP’s who were making gaffs on TV but arguably Theresa May blew them all out of the water. She also had a few uncomfortable confrontations from the public who questioned her on the current austerity measures, one woman stopped her on the street regarding her disability and the lack of help and funding she receives, she tried to reason with the woman but left only promising to change things in the future.

when-you-tell-your-mum-youre-having-a-quiet-one-22357111Then there was another interview which left the country in hysterics when she was asked what was the naughtiest thing she’s ever done was to which she replied “I have to confess when me and my friends used to run through the fields of wheat, the farmers weren’t too pleased about that.” The public had a field day, it wasn’t particually naughty; maybe to a vicars daughter but not to your average member of the public, the memes flew in fast and she was mocked all over social media, the interview provided the public with a little bit of fun in what seemed to be and increasingly disasterous election.

Meanwhile Jeremy had really gained momentum with the public, people were out in force to support him, big crowds were drawn in places like York which saw two thousand people out in the town centre to see the Labour leader, there was also support from celebrities who campaigned for the party such as Steve Coogan, others who urged their fans to get out and vote such as Akala and JME, Labour used the power of social media to get their message out, and were effective in bringing more young people to the ballot box than there had been in a long time with the overall turnout reaching 68.7%, the highest it has been since 1997. The conservative party has never really tried to attract a youth vote, their idea of doing so involves giving people like David Cameron leadership, smug boyish charmers who seems more slimey than sincere, the party really needs to look at modernising in that sense, there is currently no conservative youth movement in the UK and there’s unlikely to be one any time soon.

v218-Jeremy-Corbyn-Get-v2
When votes came in and the narrowed gap between the parties was to be seen, conservatives lost their majority and were left with a hung parliament; having to work out a deal with other parties yet still left going forward as a minority goverment. The effects were felt amongst their MPs while it was a call for victory in Labour’s camp who had undermined the goverment and showed that there was call for major change amongst the public, Labour are in demand and nipping at the heels of the Tories. When Theresa May gave her speech on the podium after winning back her constituency of Maidenhead she looked and like a broken woman, the angst was all over her face and she didn’t look like the strong and stable leader she did at the start of the year, she had single handedly caused her party to lose the majority and her leadership was being called into question; mostly by the oppostion. Meanwhile Jeremy Corbyn looked solid and empowered, he was being called the loser that won while May was the winner that lost, he even went onto TV to say that “Labour is ready to serve this country” which brought some mockery from conservatives.

Now that the conservatives are left to pick up the pieces lets hope they have learnt a hard lesson, the fable of Icarus flying to close to the sun seems somewhat fitting. Now would be a time for humility and level headedness rather than ego and cockiness, it is a lesson many of the parties MP’s could learn and one that i hope they do for their own sake. Theresa May gave a speech the day after the results that didn’t show any signs of humility and she seemed somewhat in denial about the whole thing, maybe it was for show, a confident assertive Prime Minister certainly goes down better than an appologetic one, maybe it was used to try instill some confidence in the public, the same nlp techniques that MP’s advisers reccommend but it seemed rather odd and came accross as delusion, maybe this lesson hasn’t gotten through to her yet, we will have to wait and see.

mp
The worst thing the conservatives did was underestimate the Labour party and the general public in this election, they thought they had it in the bag, they thought they were going to be guranteed a win but in the end they came close to loosing it all, the power of politics is it can change suddenly at any moment, you have to be on top of your game, you have to be sharp, quick, intelligent, wise, you need to walk, talk and act like a leader, Jeremy Corbyn did all of those things, Theresa May did not.

Take A Bow Corbyn

News just in, people are still as daft as they’ve ever been. This time the outrage is around the Queens speech and why Jeremy Corbyn didn’t bow as he entered the House of Lords.

While it’s customary for the House of Commons to bow as they enter it’s not a custom that has been strictly followed for some time, as pointed out in the Independent article

For a while it has been protocol for only the speaker and officials to bow on behalf of the House of Commons, so while it’s being argued online who got it wrong technically neither of them did, the protocol of MP’s not bowing is after all only recent over the last several years.

Still it is funny seeing who made a big deal out of it…

Nigel Farage had something to say


As did the Leave EU page

It makes you wonder if people actually know the protocol but are just creating a narrative and conversation, after all a wrong story is still a story and with an audience who are not thrilled by Jeremy Corbyn it’s often just a moment to vent some steam and express disgust.

But then again maybe not, my mother always said “Dont assume mallice when stupidity is more plausible,” plus in Nigel Farage’s case he’s never actually won a seat in the commons so it could be safe to assume he doesn’t actually know.

Papers

Now the Daily Mail is a whole other kettle of fish, you can safely assume that they probably know the protocol and know it’s not a big deal, they are not as stupid as people think. Also they even report on the protocol in the article yet having added a sensationalist spin they struggle on through with the waning narrative…

I could be wrong about the Daily Mail but i know bullshit when i see it.

The Metro reported on his failing to bow but explained the custom…

The Sun presented it as him failing to bow but then went on to explain that the protocol is still uncertain…

The Express were just generally gunning for Jeremy and called him a NATIONAL DISGRACE…

The Daily Star mentioned Tim Farron not bowing either but completely failed to mention that so did Boris Johnson so it seems there’s some confirmation bias.

All of the right wing papers mentioned the protocol yet still subtlety presented the information in a way that would cause a reaction, most of their readers are opposed to the Labour leader and see him for his Marxist and revolutionary sympathies so this was probably the perfect news story to get their readers going in the eyes of the media.

It does however bring to question how these papers sell so well, it’s often painfully obvious that they are biased but at the same time they do seem to provide most of the relevant information, people seem to be buying them for the headline and the spin.

But it wasn’t just right wingers who got it wrong, there were a few neutral sources that also got it wrong, UK Politics reported on it but realised they were incorrect after some criticism so it’s not just the right who do this…

The UK Politics page deleted the original post and updated their audience after

Even some of the left got it wrong too, when the story first came out it was still assumed that he was usually required to bow and was going against protocol by not doing so. Eventually apologists and corbynistas started popping up to defend him saying stuff like “No he didn’t refuse to bow he was still walking into the room with the crowd” to which others replied “No he wasn’t he arrived in the room at the same time as Theresa May!”

Even when the narrative was wrong people were willing to defend him and be wrong twice but that’s just people for you, luckily we have those who look stuff up and double check information otherwise it would still be assumed he broke protocol and I still probably would be right now believing it myself if it wasn’t for some random bloke on the internet.

 

The Corbyn Show

It seems like the Corbyn show atm. Following the general election the Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has no intention of stepping aside and going back to business as usual, while he didn’t win the election what he did do was undermine Theresa May’s conservative majority and her shallow attempt to get the backing of the public behind her and Brexit. The election was a huge upset for the once majority Tory government and unsurpisingly gave Labour the chance to flex their political muscle. Although they didn’t win, they certainly defied the odds and sounded a clear threat to the current government, showing that they are in demand and biting at their heels.

Labour seem that empowered by the amount of seats they won and the huge support they gained that they have been celebrating since, Jeremy went on air to give and interview with the BBC after the results and declared that Labour are “ready to serve this country” because it was “what we fought this election for.” Naturally he was mocked for this statement on social media with many seeing him as being delusional and acting as if he had won the election, after all it was first down to the conservatives to try and form a government so it was highly unlikely that the role would be handed over to Labour.

While it looked like the leader might be having a moment the same message was being echoed by other members of his party and this seemed less likely to be an act of denial and more likely an act of defiance, the party leader and his fellow MP’s seemed to be doing something that was considerably tactical and something more that has become recognisable since…

Grenfell Tower

The Grenfell fire quite frankly was dealt with poorly from the very beginning by the Prime Minister and the government, Jeremy has been ahead of Theresa every step of the way, from social media to interviews and even in meeting the residents and victims of the fire before the Prime Minister did. This is unacceptable in anyone’s eyes, especially at a time when people are coming to terms with the magnitude of the situation.

It seems like the PM hasn’t come to terms with the situation herself.

The Labour leader really used this to his advantage and has acted somewhat as a proxy leader; showing humility, empathy and most importantly urgency to those affected by the fire by spending just 40 minutes with the locals the day after the event. 40 minutes is all it took to make the Prime Minister look cold and heartless, she had been down to the scene of the fire but it was strictly business with the aim of getting a briefing from the emergency services but she didn’t make any time for those affected which lead to one resident telling Jeremy Corbyn that “she was s**t.” Comparisons between the two leaders were then being made in the media and the situation added to the mounting rage that local residents were beginning to feel, the fact that she’d avoided the public altogether certainly helped exacerbate people’s feelings.

By the time the PM met actual residents involved there was absolute bedlam, the pot had come to boil and people were taking aim at the news media, politicans and even the Queen. Protesters were on the scene and burst into the church the Prime Minister was speaking in, as she left the building cries of “coward” were heard from the baying crowds outside who were wanting answers, the PM was forced to quickly rush towards her shofared veichle to escape the situation, quite the opposite scene to Jeremy’s visit.

The Media Assault


Jeremy Corbyn and his shadow cabinet were quick on the draw from the very beginning and have been regularly in the media almost every day since the fire, he appeared on Sky news on the same afternoon of the incident to give his condolences to those affected and seemed to insinuate the conservatives were to blame before saying it was too early to point the finger and ask questions.

Later on he went on to call for empty flats to be “requisitioned if necessary,” to house those in need and also calling Kennsington “a tale of two cities” with the south being one of the richest areas in the country and the north being one of the poorest.

When Theresa May failed to meet the local residents the media got Jeremy’s opinion, when the PM met with local residents and seemed to have back-tracked on the promises to house people locally he voiced his disgust, the man has kept his eye on everything going on around Grenfell since the beginning and the media has kept a keen eye on him, reporting on his every move. This new allience although an interesting one may be short lived but one thing that both parties agree on is things are not running smoothly for the victims and that rightly reflects badly on the PM and the goverement.

Most recently Jeremy was on ITV’s Preston on Sunday show and continued talk of requisition and also urged his supporters to occupy empty properties in the area for residents in need of housing. Luckily he’s not able to implement such an act though, in fact he wouldn’t be able to even if he was in charge, it’s really not an option.

It hasn’t just been Jeremy in the news, London mayor Sadiq Khan has given regular input too and so have members of the shadow cabinet; most notably was John Mcdonnell the Shadow Chancellor who has called for 1 million people to take to the streets and oust May; asking union bosses to help saying we need “every union mobilised.” It is believed that a mass protest is being organised for July 1st and is calling for Theresa May to step aside as she failed to gain a majority. It seems that heavy pressuring and bully tactics are back in politics, far left tactics that refuse to recognise the election result and have no time for the democratic process, especially when the aim is to ‘get Labour into power by any means possible.’

Which brings me onto…

Labour Protesters


Jeremy’s supporters are often quick to react, with the growing anger towards the PM by the local residents and the general public there has also been considerable quickness in mobilising a number of organised protests, for example the people that stormed the church where the PM was speaking to local residents was so blatantly organised  that you could tell from the quality of their signs and the momentum tshirts seen in some of the pictures; this was not something just thrown together by local residents.

Momentum is labour’s grassroots campaigning wing of the party which was born out of Jeremy Corbyn’s 2015 run for Labour leader and they aim to get get the party into goverement so expect to see much more of them in the future.

Protests also errupted in London this weekend, one outside of downing street and another in and around north Kennisngton, both calling for Theresa May to be forced out from power. As well as Mcdonnell organising one for July there’s one scheduled for Wednesday during the Queens speech and is being organised by a group called “Movement for Justice.” The protest is being called the “Day of Rage” and will be an attempt to shut down London and overthrow the government according to the fliers being handed out. It sounds rather delusional and naive and like more people unwilling to accept the election result, this will no doubt end with them feeling the brunt of the currently underfunded UK police force and them looking rather stupid, still the dream of revolution doesn’t die with the use of riot shields and batons.

Looking through their Facebook page they look to be Labour supporters with #DefendCorbyn regularly seen on their posts so it seems they are indirectly connected to the party but could be directly behind closed doors.

And finally…Glastonbury?

Turns out Jeremy Corbyn is going to appear on the pyramid stage at Glastonbury this year with festival founder Michael Eavis calling him the “hero of the hour.” While many are legitimately sick of the way that the current government has been running things over the last few years, what i fear is it’s going to be a homecoming parade for the left and in particular the socialist left. John Mcdonnell is also appearing and so is Billy Bragg, so i hoping that it won’t be a leftist circle jerk or an attempt to gather the troops, lets also hope it doesn’t have the same mentality as this year’s award shows which were at times unbearable to watch. As someone who watches Glastonbury every year, one thing I don’t watch it for is politics; on the contrary, i watch it to get away from that world and to enter one that is universal through the medium of music but if turns out to be some sort of self masturbatory celebration for a party that doesn’t even run the government then i may find myelf turning it off, even more likely being that I’m still somewhat skeptical of the Labour leader, his Shadow Chancellor and other members of his party.

The way he seems to be all over the newspapers, social media and television at the moment already seems somewhat excessive, even though it may only be a brief period of frequency, maybe it will be a red summer in the news, who knows! if it does carry on it could be the signs of something more going on and a sign of things to come.

Labour and the IRA (Media Timeline)

 

Rewriting history
The Telegraph – Revealed Jeremy Corbyn and John Mcdonnell close IRA links (10.10.2015)
The Spectator – Jeremy Corbyn should not be allowed to rewrite the history of his support for the IRA (17.05.2016)
Belfast Telegraph – Jeremy Corbyn’s three decades of comfort and aid to the provisionals (18.05.2017)
City A.M. – Jeremy Corbyn can’t rewrite his reprehensible IRA history (31.05.2017)

Timeline
1983: Jeremy Corbyn joins Labour party
[Sinn Fein London visit]

1983 Sinn Fein meeting organised by Corbyn

[12 October 1984: Brighton Bombing]

An attempt to assassinate Prime Minister Margeret Thatcher killing 5 and injuring 31

Wikipedia – Brighton Hotel Bombing
The Guardian – How the Guardian Reported the 1984 Brighton Bombing (03.10.2014)
Time – How the Brighton Bombing 30 years ago Portended Peace (12.10.2014)
Youtube – Brighton Bomb
Youtube – To kill the cabinet: BBC Brighton Bomb Documentary 1986

26 October 1984: Two weeks after brighton bomb Jeremy Corbyn invites IRA members to Houses of Parliament

The Glasgow Herald 17.12.1984

 

Controversial Labour Briefing Article supporting the IRA with a young Diane Abbott in the photo

[Troops Out Protest 1986]

Sunday Times Article

The Telegraph – Jeremy Corbyn claimed nato was a ‘danger to world peace’ and was arrested at an IRA linked protest (14.05.2017)
Belfast Telegraph – Labour leader Corbyn defended over Troops Out arrest (15.05.2017)

[Wolfe Tone Society meeting 1987]

Sunday Express 1987

Belfast Newsletter – Night Jeremy Corbyn stood in honour of dead IRA terrorists (14.10.2015)

[Poppy Day bombing]
Wikipedia – Remembrance Day Bombing

Early Day Motion 24.11.1987

Controversial motion where Labour MPs blamed the British government for the Poppy Day Massacre
The Telgraph – Revealed: Jeremy Corbyn blamed IRA’s Poppy Day Massacre on British ‘occupation’ of Northern Ireland (27.05.2017)
Belfast Telegraph – Poppy Day bomb victim says Corbyn should resign over 1987 motion (29.03.2017)
Enniskillen deserves investigation like Bloody Sunday: victims daughter (22.05.2017)

[1989 Elected Authorities Act]
Wikipedia – Elected Authorities Act
Legislation.gov.uk
The Sun – JEZ’S DEFENCE OF IRA Jeremy Corbyn and his close pal Diane Abbott tried to block laws forcing would be councilors to renounce IRA (14.05.2017)

Sands/Connolly Commemoration 1991


Bloody Sunday March 1992

[1994: Members of Parliament condemn 1974 Birmingham bombing]
UK Parliament – Early Day Motion 28: Bombing in Birmingham November 1974 (16.11.1994)
The Independent – Jeremy Corbyn signed a motion to condemn IRA violence in 1974 (29.05.2017)

Jeremy and Gerry house of commons 1995

[1995: Corbyn Banned From Speaking in a Terror Debate]
The Sun – SHUT DOWN Jeremy Corbyn was once banned from speaking in a commons terror debate because he was ‘too close to the IRA (22.05.2017)

[15th June 1996: Manchester Bombing]

Aftermath of the bombing

Wikipedia – Manchester Bombing
ABC – A look back at the 1996 IRA bombing in Manchester (23.05.2017)
Youtube – Bombing in Manchester

[1996: Planned visit cancelled by Adams]


[Sinn Fein members enter Parliament causing a major security risk, Corbyn, Livingstone and Simpson “read the riot act”]
The Independent – How Sinn Fein strolled through Westminster (22.11.1996)

[10th April 1998 – Good Friday Agreement]

Signed by Tony Blair and Bertie Ahern

Wikipedia – Good Friday Agreement
BBC History – Good Friday Agreement

[Jeremy Corbyn Sinn Fein events]

Jeremy regularly speaking at conferences and attending memorials according to Anphoblacht (Sinn Fein/former IRA newspaper)
Anphoblacht – London to mark Bloody Sunday, Saturday 22nd January (13.01.2000)
Anphoblacht – Bloody Sunday public meeting, Sunday 6th February (03.02.2005)
Anphoblacht – London public meeting : What next for the Irish peace process? Wednesday 27th June (14.06.2007)

London Irish Centre in Camden 2008

Anphoblacht – Stars and MP’s turn out for first ever Sinn-Fein London dinner (19.11.2009)

[7th June 2010: Mcdonnell makes a joke about assassinating Margeret Thatcher]
The Guardian – John Mcdonnell applogises for Margeret Thatcher assassination comment (08.06.2010)

[Mcdonnell steps down from leadership campaign and backs Diane Abbott]

Anphoblacht – 1981 hunger strike 30th anniversary|London conference, 18th June (14.07.2011)

[Tony Benn’s Funeral]


BBC – Tony Benn funeral: mourners gather at Westminster (27.03.2014)

[Coffee with Sinn Fein]

Jeremy Corbyn with members of Sinn Fein in Parliaments Cafe

The Telegraph – Corbyn sips coffee with ‘comrades’ Gerry Adams and Martin Mcguinness in Parliament (21.07.2015)

[Jeremy Corbyn leadership candidate]

[Corbyn Fails to condemn IRA after being asked 5 times in a radio interview with Stephen Nolan for Radio Ulster]
The Independent – Jeremy Corbyn is criticised by victims’ families after failing to condemn the IRA (06.08.2015)

[Jeremy Corbyn Labour Leader]

[John Mcdonnell Shadow Chancellor][Diane Abbott Shadow Home Secretary]

[Mcdonnell’s past resurfaces]
The Guardian – John Mcdonnell applogises ‘from the bottom of my heart’ for IRA comment (17.09.2015)

[Outrage over Mcdonnell’s Thatcher joke resurfaces for a third time after footage showing him joking about the incident to an audience]
The Telegraph – Mcdonnell caught in a second Thatcher assassination row as old footage shows him joking idea has massive support (25.07.2016)

[Sinn Fein assistant IRA sing song]
The Mirror – Jeremy Corbyn risks row over plan to hire Sinn Fein staffer (14.12.2016)
Evening Standard – Jereny Corbyn aid ‘sang song with IRA killer’ (15.12.2016)
Belfast Telegraph – Controversial Corbyn aid ‘sang IRA songs in bar with convicted terrorist’ (17.12.2016)

[Christmas message backfire]
Daily Mail – Jeremy Corbyn’s Christmas message to the armed forces backfires when furious viewers dub him ‘communist Corbyn the IRA terrorists’ friend’ (29.12.2016)

[Stormfront dissolution]
The Independent – Jeremy Corbyn ‘ignoring Northern Irish political crisis in case IRA sympathy claims resurface’ (19.01.2017)

[Martin Mcguinness Funeral]


Daily Mail – ‘Tell that to the people of Enniskillen’: Fury as Corbyn pays warm tribute to IRA killer Martin Mcguinness as a ‘great family man’ (21.03.2017)
New Statesman – If the Tories want to attack Jeremy Corbyn on the IRA, evoking Martin Mcguinness won’t work (30.05.2017)

[MI5 Files]
The Telegraph – Exclusive: MI5 opened file on Jeremy Corbyn amid concerns over his IRA links (19.05.2017)
The Independent – MI5 ‘kept file on Jeremy Corbyn over his IRA sympathies’ (20.05.2017)

[Mcdonnell applogises for IRA Comment again at a press conference]
The Telegraph – John Mcdonnell applogises for praising IRA and claims he did everything he could to secure peace (19.05.2017)
Huffpost – John Mcdonnell IRA apology does not excuse ‘insensitive and hurtful’ comments, says bomb victims dad (19.05.2017)

[Sophy Ridge Interview (Sky News)]
The Telegraph – Growing row over Jeremy Corbyn’s links to the IRA as he refuses 5 times to condemn the militant group (21.05.2017)
New Statesman – No Jeremy did not refuse to codemn the IRA. Please stop saying he did (22.05.2017)

[Right Side of History?]
The Telegraph – Gerry Adams says Corbyn on ‘right side of history’ despite his refusal to condemn the IRA (22.05.2017)

[Statement from Corbyn’s Office]
The Metro – Jeremy Corbyn has finally called the IRA terrorists (22.05.2017)
The Sun – ‘THEY WERE TERRORISTS’ Jeremy Corbyn’s office insists the Labour Leader believes the IRA were terrorists and their bombings were wrong after he praised their ‘bravery’ (22.05.2017)

[Jeremy Corbyn Andrew Neil Interview]
The Independent – Jeremy Corbyn insists ‘I never met the IRA’ in grilling by BBC’s Andrew Neil (26.05.2017)
The Spectator – The three lies that Jeremy Corbyn told Andrew Neil (27.05.2017)
Irish Times – Jeremy Corbyn: ‘I didn’t support the IRA. I don’t support the IRA’ (27.05.2017)

[Diane Abbott LBC Interview]
Ian quizzed Diane Abbott about her track record and she wasn’t happy about it (27.05.2017)

[Diane Abbott BBC Interview]
The Independent – Diane Abbott suffers new car crash interview trying to defend Corbyn over IRA claims (27.05.2017)
The Independent – Diane Abbott refuses to say she ‘regrets’ calling for IRA to defeat the British state (28.05.2017)
The Telegraph – Diane Abbott on claims she supported the IRA: ‘It was 34 years ago, I used to have a splendid Afro’ (28.05.2017)
Belfast Newsletter – Corbyn refuses to say if he warned Abbott off ‘IRA Interview’ (04.06.2017)

[Jeremy Corbyn Preston on Sunday Interview]
Daily Mail – Jeremy Corbyn FINALLY admits he has met with convicted members of the IRA after denying he ever met with the terror group (28.05.2017)

[Election Special]
The Independent – General election 2017: Jeremy Corbyn confronted over attending a meeting ‘honouring’ dead IRA members (29.05.2017)

[Question Time]
The Telegraph – BBC Question Time Special: Jeremy Corbyn heckled over 9Trident and IRA (02.06.2017)

[’74 Bombing]
Belfast Telegraph – Corbyn ‘ignorance’ over ’74 IRA bombing ‘shocking’ (06.06.2017)

Recent
The Herald – John McLellan: Why Corbyn’s IRA views should be dissected (01.06.2017)
Irish Independent – Even now Jeremy Corbyn struggles to fully condemn the IRA (04.06.2017)

Criticism – Politicans and notable figures

Criticism – Victims and families
The Independent – Jeremy Corbyn is criticised by victims’ families after failing to condemn the IRA (06.08.2015)
Belfast Newsletter – Father of boy killed on IRA bomb criticises Jeremy Corbyn (24.04.2017)
Warrington Guardian – Jeremy Corbyn slammed for failing to apologise ‘for links to IRA’ on Warrington visit (26.04.2017)
Huffpost – John Mcdonnell IRA apology does not excuse ‘insensitive and hurtful’ comments, says bomb victims dad (19.05.2017)
Enniskillen deserves investigation like Bloody Sunday: victims daughter (22.05.2017)
The Guardian – Corbyn plans to speak to families of IRA Hyde Park bombing victims (22.05.2017)
Belfast Telegraph – Poppy Day bomb victim says Corbyn should resign over 1987 motion (29.05.2017)

LBC
Ian quizzed Diane Abbott about her track record and she wasn’t happy about it (27.05.2017)
Corbyn’s history with the IRA is important… and it’s wrong: James O’Brien (29.05.2017)

Guido Fawkes
Corbyn refuses 5 times to condemn IRA (24.05.2017)
Corbyn lies: I never met the IRA (26.05.2017)
Corbyn – IRA attack video hits million views (27.05.2017)
Ian Dale reads Guido’s Corbyn IRA list to Diane Abbott (27.05.2017)
Corbyn admits meeting IRA killers (28.05.2017)

The Question of Labour Briefing and Jeremy Corbyn’s Affiliation

On the 20th May Jeremy Corbyn was pressed on his affiliation with the Labour Briefing magazine in a sky news interview with Sophy Ridge, the magazine; a leftist political magazine started in 1980 that controversially stood behind the IRA’s attempt to assassinate Margeret Thatcher in 1984 causing the death of 5 and injuring 31.

Youtube – Jeremy asked about Labour Briefing

In the interview Jeremy dismisses Andrew Roff’s parliamentary records that claim the MP was part of the editorial board in 1984 when the IRA bombing happened, Jeremy says that Andrew has a reputation for being “historically inaccurate” and went on to say “I read the magazine, wrote for the magazine, I wasn’t a member of the editorial board.”

When looking for answers the information available online is rather confusing, alot of people around at that time have said he was a member of the board while it seems he himself denies it. On the magazines Wikipedia it conflicts his own Wikipedia page…

Labour briefings Wikipedia page calls him a contributor. Private eye says he was a member of the editorial board which Jeremy denied in the sky interview. 

While on his own Wikipedia page calls him a member of the editorial board and general secretary, citing the same private eye article

The since the interview a number of articles have resurfaced that appear to show a much closer affiliation than simply that of a writer/contributer…

The Economist reported Jeremy Corbyn as general secretary in 1982

Jeremy Corbyn described as part of the editorial team according to Wolmar, Goss and Lansley, The Rise of the Municipal Left (1989)

Another article that describes him as a member of the board and organiser of the magazines mailing list (unknown source)

More recently the Times described him as a member of the editorial board

When looking at pieces from the magazine itself it points towards him being alot more involved than someone who only contributed…

London Labour Briefing Conference advertisement December 1981 organised by Jeremy Corbyn

London Labour Briefing July 1982, Jeremy Corbyn defends his trotskyist comrades from expulsion and provides his then address in the contact details. A year before he became a member of Parliament

An article in March 1983 inviting contributions to London Labour Briefing showing he dealt with the mailing list

Excerpt from the labour briefing 1995 and Jeremy calls for fellow socialists to get involved in campaigning in London. At the time it was thought that Michael Haseltine would most likely be the new Tory leader

It does bring up a number of questions about how close the Labour Leader’s affiliations were, what is extremely obvious is his links were alot closer than those of just a writer, he was after all organising conferences, campaigning, rallying the troops, dealing with the mailing list, a writer doesn’t go to those sort of lengths if they are just creating content.

The issue brought up in the interview is due to one particular article written by the editorial in 1984 where the IRA’s Brighton attack is defended by the magazine and the magazine asserts their backing of the terrorist organisation…

The article itself was a U-turn from a previous article where the magazine seemed to be having second thoughts after the Brighton bombing that killed 5 and injured 31, in this edition however the editorial reaffirmed their position behind the IRA and their continued fight for a united Ireland.

The article features statements from the IRA, Gerry Adams and Diane Abbott as well as the outrageous quote “It certainly appears to be the case that the British will only sit up and take notice when they are bombed into it” from the writer of the article.

“Give Ireland peace and there will be no war” the headline of the article says; a previous statement by the IRA. Another statement says “We are determined never to lay down our arms until the Irish people as as a nation are allowed to determine their own future”

Diane Abbott a councilor at the time seen in the picture, a quote from her says “It’s quite simple – anyone who comes from a former colony knows the troops always have to come out. There have been British troops – peace keeping forces – in Cyprus, Malaya, Kenya, all over the place and they have all had to come out.”

Gerry Adams says “The bombing has been successful insofar as it has applied attention once again to what’s happening in the six counties”

Tony Benn published a bill for Britain’s withdrawal from Northern Ireland and says there needs to be debate, discussion and argument within the labour movement.

Generally there’s alot to cause anger in this article and there probably was at the time so it probably is a wise move for Corbyn to distance himself from the article and magazine during the election. There isn’t anything that ties him to the article itself but there are questions to be asked about how involved in London Labour Briefing he actually was because many sources point towards him being more than a writer/contributer.

The Joke That Is The Media and Social Media Post Terrorist Attack

Watching the media and social media after a terrorist attack is a rather strange position to be in, on the one hand you know what to expect but on the other you are often still left surprised by it all, people make fools of themselvesit can’t be helped sometimes but this time around it all seems a bit ridiculous.

At this point it is expected, the politicans and the media will talk about “The bravery of the people of Manchester,” a BBC anchor can be heard saying things like “Europe is getting used to attacks such as Manchester” and newpaper companies writing articles  like “There’s only one way Britain should respond to attacks such as Manchester, that is by carrying on as before.” There’s this British stiff upper lip attitude that’s totally hypocritical and obscene, pictures of a milkman carrying on with his service in a blitzed out London is being shared, posts stating why you always want a British soldier on your side in a war, images showing how resilient the British are, people talking about how we just carry on and keep doing what we do, “you can’t bring us down” the implied message.

We let’s be honest, it’s all twaddle!

While Theresa May calling the people of Manchester brave is expected and necessary as it aims to let the people of Manchester know that she and the powers that be are thinking of them and are horrified by what has happened. But At the very same time she does so from a very safe and well protected ivory tower; free from any imminent danger that comes our way. The point can be made that Parliament has been the target for such attacks too, the last attack in London it was politicians that were the target and while it’s obvious that they do not remain free from any imminent danger, they are in a lot safer position than your average member of the public; it was after all a consistent police presence in London around Parliament that stopped the attack becoming a success. Naturally people feel some anger at her words or any words of any policitian or world leader for that matter because it is normal every day people that are being used as colateral. 

Nevertheless the MP has deployed 3000 army servicemen onto the street for fear of further attack, somewhat a comfort blanket for the people of the UK but something that is necessary with the amount of attempts made on the country and Europe in general over this last year.

The BBC anchor who declared that Europe is getting used to these types of attacks is quite frankly a moron, this is not the first time this kind of statement has been made, London mayor Sadiq Khan was quoted as saying after a bomb explosion in New York that “Terrorist attacks are part and parcel of living in a big city” and the new French president Emmanuel Macron said after the Champs Élysées attack that “This threat, this imponderable problem, is part of our daily lives for the years to come“. In defence of Sadiq Khan he didn’t specifically say those words, it was instead an interpretation, the conclusion of his words and a headline used by the Evening Standard, his actual words were “It is a reality I’m afraid that London, New York, other major cities around the world have got to be prepared for these sort of things.” It’s not that any of these statements made are wrong, major cities ARE increasingly the target of attacks by extremists, but it does however have a dismissive tone; the last thing anyone want to hear after such an attack is to expect more in the future and that you will have to learn to live with it. No major city should accept such a statement or such a prospect for the future.

The feminist media were also out in force to link the attack to misogyny, Slate’s article “The bombing at a Manchester Ariana Grande show was an attack on girls and women” tried to focus on the fact the majority of the audience were female and called it an attack on girls and girlhood; describing how she’s been attacked for her sexuality in the past . Salon’s “Manchester was an attack on girls” talks about how difficult it is being a girl in a world where they are feared and hated and how the escapism of pop music is a short term freedom from this. The Independent has been posting its more risque articles to their opinions section in what can only be an attempt to avoid responsibility in the face of any backlash or complaints; such articles as “It’s not muslims or people with mental health problems who are most likely to kill you in a terrorist attack – it’s men,” an article that aims to shift the conversation from islamic extremism to “toxic masculinity” and “Make no mistake about it: the Manchester attack had everything to do with young women” which is tamer than the others as it focuses on islamic extremists and their problems with women but still somewhat diverts the conversation.

There are some snipets of truth in these articles, men are more likely to be involved in violent crime…or any crime for that matter, its a serious problem that hardly gets a look in at all but in this instance it isn’t concern for the male gender that’s being shown, it’s actually a condemnation of men and their “toxic masculinity.” Don’t get me wrong there ARE interesting points to be made but they often act as a distraction to the real problems and are done so in a rather obscene manner, you can draw focus on men and misogyny for such actions and you wouldn’t technically be wrong but they would only be an afterthought to the overbearing presence of an islamist idealogy, also it’s not something you can really generalise as it’s a very specific type of crime where there’s not much wriggle room for such macro interpretations and conclusions, whether you want to or not you have to ask yourself which group of men it is that are blowing themselves up and members of the public.

But if you insist as many do then there are still a number of questions that need answering, if it is misogyny that is causing such horrendous acts then is every example of misogyny responsible and are we to put every example of misogyny into the same category as a man who blew up women and children at a pop concert? is using derogatory terms a slippery slope towards hyjacking planes and gunning down members of the public? Okay so maybe it isn’t all examples of misogyny after all but even in the more severe cases of misogyny are motives the same to those of a suicide bomber?

Ofcourse not.

Whilst mulching about on Facebook i saw a great point made in a group about the subject…

We can forgive the typo as the point was made brilliantly and it’s absolutely true, any focus on masculinity in feminist media is always of a negative nature, never would there be time devoted to for praise or admiration.

Speaking of social media, the countless messages promoting defiance and perseverance “The British do it best,” these positive messages that say we won’t be beaten and won’t take it lying down have been circulating heavily over the last few days, Stefan Molyneux said it best in reply to the Independent’s article was published saying the British should be carrying on as before, he said;

The real question is who are these sort of messages really benefitting? It certainly isn’t benefitting the victims and their families, it isn’t benefitting the people of Manchester who probably feel more unsafe than they’ve ever felt in their lives. Is it all for the benefit of feeling that there’s some solidarity amongst British people? Most certainly, it’s not that I don’t think it’s a nice sentiment, it is but it’s more due to the fact that it fails to address actual issues causing these attacks to happen and fails to draw up any real conclusions, because that’s what we all really want. If it’s not benefitting the peopleinvolved then who is it benefitting and what is the point of it?

People will carry on anyway, they have to, but its not because the newpapers or the internet have told them to. Being told we should carry on as before is rather patronising, why should we? Why should we just accept that this horrific incident has happened and then carry on as normal, why shouldn’t we talk about what could and should have been done and what needs to be done in the future to prevent further attacks like it? 

What’s even more fustrating is the suspect was already known to law enforcement, had been flagged up 5 times for his extremist views and was to a degree being monitored, some say that hindsight is a wonderful thing but in this case it’s a complete and utter tragedy. 

The kind of people who tell you to keep going in such a way are more often than not doing it for their own benefit or taking the opportunity during a period of heightened emotions to say “we are in this together,” to rally the community. This doesn’t make them bad people, they are generally well meaning although somewhat misguided in their grief and assumptions of others, these sort of people are probably as panicked if not more so than everybody else.

As well as the usual ‘pray for’ style profile pictures I’ve seen a lovely dose of ‘keep calm and carry on’ rhetoric going around with old photos of Brits during the war when the Germans were reigning hell fire down on us. The difference between the two situations is we aren’t in a position anywhere near to that which Britain was in during that period, for them it couldn’t get any worse, it had already stretched them thin and they had no other choice but to try carry on to the best of their ability. People did carry on but somewhat in denial of the catastrophes going on around them, it could have been an act of self preservation or it could have been a certain gratitude from making it through another night and day of the bombings, whatever it was it certainly would have merged the boundaries of extreme defiance and denial, bordering on mental illness.

Maybe some are choosing to adopt that same attitude because they think it’s comparable, maybe it does feel like the blitz to them, a true projection of where their minds really are despite the blitz being considerably more severe. There has been a year of continuous terrorist attacks in Europe after all and it doesn’t look like it’s going to improve any time soon, it looks like they might even become more frequent. 

With the right resources and the right attitude towards extremism, this can be preventable in the future, certainly more so than they have been. 

The misinterpretation of history like this is laughable, with World War 2 the most common rhetoric is tales of how britain persevered and wouldn’t be defeated, the elated happiness of the people once it was all over and the positive and determined speeches of Prime Minister Winston Churchill that altogether paints a somewhat positive light of the seven years the country faced the Nazi’s. The truth is once you take off the rose tinted glasses you soon get a completely different story. 

Finally we have the usual suspects, the back and forths online and the opinions of others, obviously there are people who pointed the finger at islam and obviously there are those who disagreed with them, called them islamophobic and called them racist or told them that they have an agenda and shouldn’t politicise the death of little girls, yes readers, when the left does the moral high ground they really milks it out of thin air.

The problem is that whether they agree or not it is about islam. The fact is fanatical ideas have gone on within islam for a long time and there are ideas within this religion and its holy book that help perpetuate this, ideas that men have took on, believed with all their hearts and used as justification to shoot down, blow up and run over a bunch of innocent civilians. 

To tell someone that they have a political agenda is to be in total denial about what suicide bombing really is and the reasonings behind such an act, it was already political, the islamist idealogy made it so, a person doesn’t blow themselves up just because they feel like it, to ignore this fact because people have died really shows how fragile and pathetic some people really are.  

The term islamophobic has always been a rather odd one, we don’t give any other religion the same precedent to be excused from criticism or insult, even “antisemitism” refers to a race/ethnic group not a religion, we certainly would never be granted the pleasure of using such a term for Christianity. The increasingly broad  has come to represent race as well as religion, it neither separates from the belief nor the believer, an all encompassing word that covers multiple things and doesn’t warrant any authority, it’s basically meaningless, like someone screaming blasphemy. 

For some reason people have bought into it, they protect people (sometimes wrongfully) from ever having any valid criticism, not because they believe criticising religious beliefs is wrong; the left have no problem criticising and ridiculing Christianity for example so it isn’t that, its more to do with race and ethnicity, the majority of muslims do have brown skin and racism is unacceptable, i don’t dispute that at all but no one’s skin colour should be used as a reason not to cast judgement and criticism on any religion. After 9/11 there was a rather cautious attitude towards muslims so people have been rather uppity about any criticism of islam since then, equating racism and anti islamic rhetoric as the same thing.

The fact of the matter is silencing any criticism is the wrong approach, no belief should ever be beyond criticism, no one should have to worry about offending moderates, a belief that has you shackled to the idea of an invisible sky daddy is one that needs to be disproven, it would be a great disservice not to. To me a belief that makes men commit such atrocities is a belief not worth believing in and needs it’s flaws criticised.

So as the conversation about islamic extremism returns to our media after such an event, so does the same old rhetoric on social media, the real question we should be asking is how we’ve come to live in a society where we can’t even take our children to see their favourite popstar at the local arena for fear of them being decapitated by extremists?

This certainly is not a position we hoped to be in or is it an existence we worked for but its one we’ve found ourselves in, what we must know now is what is going to be done about it?

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