Listen to Leanne Mohamad. Listen to Everybody.

Leanne is a schoolgirl who gave a talk about something she believed in for a school speaking competition. But she spoke outside the right wing comfort area, and thus her speech got attacked online and then pulled. The Speakers’ Trust charity stated that “Following vile and hateful comments posted online during this Bank Holiday weekend Speakers Trust removed the video of Leanne’s speech.” It has since been reinstated.

The current aggressive campaign against anybody who speaks out for Palestine is gathering force. It’s most obvious manifestation lies in the ridiculous claims of “anti-semitism” against many left wing or radical campaigners who have worked against all racism their entire lives. As the establishment becomes more desperate to portray any thought or expression outside their neo-con orthodoxy as illegitimate, the related attack on supporters of Palestine becomes increasingly shrill.

It is very possible to plot the demonisation of radical thought in stark and recent examples. It brings to mind the demonisation of the Chartists as violent revolutionaries. For example, those in the openly left wing campaign for Scottish independence were repeatedly and regularly accused by the mainstream media of vicious online abuse. Bernie Sanders supporters were quite falsely portrayed throughout the mainstream media as violent after the Nevada Democratic Convention, even though widely available video evidence showing what really happened was totally contrary to what was reported. The 38 Degrees petition against the Tory bias of Laura Kuenssberg was withdrawn as “misogynist”, a charge echoed by the entire mainstream media, even though there is virtually no evidence of any associated misogynist abuse. Similarly the very slight three second mocking of Kuenssberg by the audience at a recent Corbyn event was, again with total absence of evidence, portrayed throughout all mainstream UK media as anti-woman rather than anti-Tory. The right wing meme that left wing Corbyn support is anti-female recurs almost daily in the mainstream media.

On the positive side, the establishment’s patently shrill demonisation of radical opposition is a reaction to a very definite upswell against the results of neo-liberalism. There is no denying that the SNP, Corbyn and Bernie Sanders phenomena on the one hand, and the Trump and UKIP phenomena on the other, represent a significant upsurge of popular discontent with the status quo. The Trump and UKIP side of that movement reflects a deliberate attempt by the Establishment to use the mainstream media to divert the focus of discontent away from the exploiters and burgeoning billionaires, and focus it on “foreigner” scapegoats.

The popular momentum is linked to intellectual momentum. Thomas Piketty and others proved the glaringly obvious, that neo-liberalism vastly increased wealth disparity in society. The recent IMF Research Department paper on the consequences of neo-liberalism made quite a splash. It agreed that neo-liberalism had caused a vast and growing wealth gap, and made a very significant apercu that “Increased inequality in turn hurts the level and sustainability of growth.” This is a vital challenge to neo-liberal orthodoxy. Simply put, if Mike Ashley has billions while his thousands of harassed agency workers are struggling to survive, there is less money actually circulating in the economy buying goods and services from local business and providing balanced and sustainable economic growth. Massive inequality does not drive economic growth, it damages it.

There seems to be a reluctance to accept that the Sports Direct story of massive degradation and exploitation is the inevitable consequence of the neo-liberal bonfire of workers’ rights and attack on the trade unions. Compulsory proper employment contracts with protection from dismissal and compulsory recognition of union representation are safeguards vitally needed to redress the imbalance between the fat-cats and those desperate to make a living. A minimum wage – even a living wage – is of little use if you are soiling yourself because you are scared to take time to go to the toilet, and can be dismissed on a whim of your employer.

A great many of the population now realise that they work in declining conditions and with declining means, to make an elite ever more super-rich. The mainstream media are the tool by which the population is to be controlled. Bernie Sanders’ heroic fight is drawing to a close for the present. I am hopeful that the appalling non-choice which Americans face for President will serve to fan popular discontent further and prove a Pyrrhic establishment victory over Sanders. The examples of demonisation of anti-establishment people with which I started this article all have one thing in common. They are attacks on people putting over radical views by means outside the mainstream media – social media and citizen journalism, or old fashioned standing up at meetings or organising together. The inspirational combination of new media and old fashioned community campaigning has been the hallmark of the Scottish independence, Corbyn and Sanders campaigns. It is the methodology that must give a blueprint and hope for the future.

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  • cstahnke

    Quite simply we live, in the West, in a post-democratic, post-rational, and post-modernist period. The simple authoritarianism of the past is no more but the new “inverted totalitarianism” is the fact of life now in the U.S. and deeply entrenched. There’s really not much to say other than that. The Information Age shifted rapidly into the Dis-Information Age or the Age of Propaganda. On the positive side, as indicated in the article, many are restive something smells funny and things will change in the next decade very rapidly I am sure and it won’t be pretty.

    • Elmore Pumares

      …..which is why the only viable option for next POTUS is Trump. Whether one “likes” him or not, he is DISRUPTIVE. This is a commodity that is much lauded in the business world – disruptive technology, disruptive concepts, etc. – but not so in politics. However, it is exactly what we need here in the U.S. Keep in mind, it’s what comes after Trump, if he is elected, that will be meaningful. The Status Quo must be torn down. Who said it would be pretty?

      • unheilig

        Agreed. But after Trump is elected–or even before–how long will it be before somebody quietly takes him aside and explains exactly why it is necessary for Goldman Sachs to run the financial sector, why neocons must control foreign policy, and why TPP is such a good thing. “Nice little business empire you got here. Be a shame if anything happened to it.”

        • diogenes

          Actually, this has already occurred. Trump will fall into line just like Obama. Or else.

  • WillDippel

    Here is an article that compares workplace benefits for Americans to workers in other nations:

    Americans have slowly been lulled into a situation where their corporate masters have been greatly enriched at workers’ expense.

  • truthtime

    Anyone who supports the current Isreali government and their practices are simply fascist sympathizers. No if, and, or buts. People like Albert Einstein compared Zionism directly with Nazism in his own words.

    • t2y3

      The radical zionists who took over Palestine were trained by the SS. There is a hidden dynamic here which has never been revealed.

  • April 5, 2016 Apartheid South Africa And Apartheid Israel: One Was Shunned, The Other, Embraced

    Congress and Reagan voted to impose sanctions against the apartheid state of South Africa, but what’s stopping our elected representatives from taking the same action against the apartheid state of Israel?

    Jul 19, 2014 Jewish Settlers in the Hamas Stronghold of Hebron: Rockets and Revenge (Dispatch 6)

    As the Israeli bombardment and invasion of the Gaza strip continues — and militants continue to launch crude rockets into Israel — there’s relative quiet in the other Palestinian territory, the West Bank. With the conflict focused on the Hamas-run Gaza strip, it’s easy to forget the West Bank used to be one of the focal points of resistance against the state of Israel.

  • jomicur

    We seem to be entering a new period of McCarthyism. “Are you now or have you ever been critical of Israel? Are you a card-carrying fellow-traveler of Palestinians?” And with arch-Zionist H. Clinton headed for the White House, it will only get worse.

  • November 18, 2012 Israel and the U.S. CREATED Hamas, Hezbollah and Al Qaeda

    Creating the Enemies We Now Fight Against We’ve extensively documented that the U.S. and Israel created Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups in an attempt to fight other enemies.

  • Rehmat

    A Palestinian Muslim girl Leanne Mohamad, 15, of Wanstead High School won the Redbridge regional final earlier this month with a speech entitled, Birds not Bombs followed by a thunderous applause from the audience (watch video below).

    The Speakers Trust that runs the competition on behalf of Jack Petchey Foundation, one of UK’s top charities. Sir Jack Petchey CBE, 90, a British property investment oligarch (£940m) established the foundation in 1999. So far the foundation has given £60m to provide opportunities for young people in London.

    “As a child I liked playing ‘hide and seek’, and I still do – but how would you feel if I tell you for some children around the world ‘hide and seek’ is not a game but matter of life or death. Think about it. How would you feel if I tell you that somewhere children wake-up every day with the noises of bombs and not birds. How would you feel if I tell you that there is place where children are not safe in their own homes How would you feel if your family members die in front of you,” Leanne said.

    “How would you feel if they have bombarded your country for the last 68 years, violated your human rights and killed your family and children? How would you react? It’s a question of justice. During the last half century, 30,000 innocent Palestinian children have been killed,” she said.

    “Palestine is one country, one vioce, one dream. Israel has been fighting Palestinians with most modern army. Palestinians have no army, no govern, and no money. It’s time to stop sufferings of Palestinians and children,” She said.

    “I’m Palestinian and human. I’m a Muslim. Islam is perfect, but I’m not. If I do something wrong, blame me for that and not my religion. Terrorism has no religion. Nobody should be discriminated based on religion or culture. Palestinians shouldn’t be discriminated for who they’re. Every day their homes are demolished. They’re left with nothing not even the basic human rights,” she said.

    “Animals are protected by their rights, Palestinians are human. One of three world refugees are Palestinians. Recently, one Palestinian child, only one year old couldn’t receive medical treatment for being a Palestinian. Discrimination still exits in Israel even today. The child died. He was my baby cousin,” she said.

    “With that I leave you with thoughts from Nelson Mandela, who said: ‘Our freedom is incomplete with the freedom of Palestine.”

    As if that was not enough to rub Zionists’ noses – Leanne Mohamad waved a tiny Palestinian flag and asked the audience to say: FREE PALESTINE. How rude!

    The Jewish press has accused Leanne of invoking Christians’ Blood Libel against Israel.

    Julie Holness, CEO of the Speakers Trust, and a Zionist poodle said that Leanne Mohamad had breached two fundamental rules that are made explicit during the training of the new generation of leadership; never criticize Zionist narrative of world history, and the “boundaries of free speech”.

    As expected, the Speakers Trust has announced that Leanne Mohamad is banned to the next stage of the competition, and she will not be speaking at the Grand Final.

    “Leanne Mohamad does not say anything negative about Jews, or Judaism. She barely even mentions Israel. What is this “blood libel?” This “hate?” Mentioning the Nakba. Mentioning the suffering of the Palestinian people. Asking listeners to recognize Palestinians as human being. Saying that discrimination is wrong. Asking listeners to have empathy for Palestinian children. These are things that these hasbarists consider to be the same as racist bigots making up stories about persecuted Jews in order to justify persecution against them,” Thalwen, a British blogger commented on Lobby’s crying wolf.

    It proves once again that giving a personal account of the Jewish occupation of Palestine, and a plea for an end to discrimination against Palestinians is not acceptable in the Zionist occupied UK.