On April 18, Theresa May called a general election in the UK, dissolving parliament three years before its term ended. Elections are scheduled for June 8. Back in April, Conservatives led Labour by 21% in opinion polls and looked headed for a landslide win. Since then:
Labour (red) has been gaining momentum as the Conservatives (blue) and Liberal Democrats (orange) have trended down. Support for the far-right UK Independence Party (purple), has collapsed.
Corbyn has been needling May for her refusal to debate him:
The election was called by May to solidify her party’s hold on Parliament ahead of what are going to be tense negotiations over Brexit. But other issues have begun to come to the fore, including welfare policies, housing and now terrorism. Today, Corbyn gave a remarkable speech on terrorism, resuming the political campaign after a three day suspension following the Manchester bombing:
The Labour leader said there must be more money for law enforcement, as he suggested Britain’s intervention in wars abroad had fuelled the risk of terrorism at home.
“Many experts, including professionals in our intelligence and security services, have pointed to the connections between wars our government has supported or fought in other countries and terrorism here at home,” he said.
However, Corbyn pitched his intervention carefully, saying he was clear that terrorists were entirely to blame for their own actions but that governments must also examine the effectiveness of their policy decisions.
“No rationale based on the actions of any government can remotely excuse, or even adequately explain, outrages like this week’s massacre,” he said, speaking in Westminster.
“But we must be brave enough to admit the war on terror is simply not working. We need a smarter way to reduce the threat from countries that nurture terrorists and generate terrorism.” — Guardian
The saga continues because Bauman’s opponent, Kimberly Ellis has not conceded the election and there is a review underway:
“I will not concede this race until we have validated the results,” Ellis said. […]
Ellis said she met with California Democratic Party staff and executives and “shared with them some concerns” with some of the votes that were cast. Ellis supporters are questioning whether all the votes came from credentialed party delegates.
“One of the things that party cannot be is a party that’s just like Trump and the Republicans,” Ellis told the crowd. “A party that operates in closed rooms, smoked-filled rooms, behind curtains, in secrecy and shadow. It is time for this party to be a transparent party.” […]
Ellis was the director of Emerge California, a Bay Area nonprofit organization that trains Democratic women to run for office.
In an interview with The Real News, former Sanders-surrogate and Our Revolution board-member Nina Turner discussed what happened at the CA convention:
It’s a very influential position and it became the target, or the focal point, of what is really an ongoing civil war in many ways between the Sanders forces, who describe themselves as “progressive,” they want single-payer healthcare, Medicare for all, $15. But most importantly, they don’t want to raise money from billionaires. They want to raise money from the general public, and that’s a point of great division in the party right now, and it was a point of great division at the California convention. […]
RoseAnn DeMoro, the leader of the nurses, said something in her speech during the convention that I think is worth noting.
What she said was, there is not going to be consensus or unity for the sake of unity; that the Democrats have to show that they really are the party of the people. And that message is not just for California Democrats; that message is for the DNC as well […]
But what I will give the California Democrats credit for, and maybe it’s because the Berniecrats were such a force, is that there was no illusion there. Folks knew that there was tension in the room. They knew that it was a fight between these so-called establishment Clinton Democrats and people who are more on the progressive side. That wasn’t hid. […]
But the beauty of this, Paul, is even though she lost – and I want our viewers to understand this – sister Fantasia, the singer, said it this way; she said, “Sometimes you’ve got to lose to win again” – the fact that she only lost by 62 votes says a lot. The fact that the establishment-backed candidate, who had every big name, had more money, more influence, more power only won by 62 votes, that the California Democratic Party is really split between the progressive wing and the establishment wing says that progress has been made.
It is critical that the delegation has confidence in the outcome of this Chair’s race so that we might move forward, irrespective of whomever wins. Should the election results stand, we will congratulate Eric on his well earned success.
“They’re not redoing anything,” said Steve Maviglio, a Democratic strategist hired Sunday by the party to handle communications about the controversy. “They’re just literally looking at the ballots.”
In a lengthy, nine-point email sent to reporters Tuesday, Maviglio dismissed speculation about “ballot stuffing” and other ways the election might have been rigged. He said that the ballot boxes “are constantly monitored” during voting, with observers from each side, and that they are opened with those observers present.
The delegates’ ballots, which Maviglio said were counted twice on Saturday, are not secret.
“Any suspected problem ballot can be individually identified, tracked and segregated from the rest of the vote,” he said. “For this reason, the proverbial bad apple cannot spoil the bunch.”
Maviglio seems to be pretty confident the review will validate Bauman’s win, though he does seem to have a bee in his bonnet about the National Nurses Union:
“The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families. They care about their lives, don’t kid yourself. When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families,” Trump said.
Trump said he would “knock the hell out of” ISIS, and criticized the U.S. for “fighting a very politically correct war.”
Intentionally targeting civilians, including “families of terrorists”, is a war crime.
Yesterday, the Pentagon’s investigation confirmed what we suspected back in March, a US airstrike had caused a building collapse which killed over 130+ civilians.
A U.S.-led airstrike carried out on a building in Mosul in March detonated a cache of Islamic State explosives, killing more than 100 Iraqi civilians, the Pentagon said Thursday.
An unclassified summary of the U.S. military investigation into the March 17 incident determined that the 500-pound bomb used in the strike set off additional explosives that were placed in the building by the Islamic State, causing the collapse of the structure.
The blast killed two Islamic State snipers and 105 civilians, including four in an adjacent house in western Mosul’s al-Jadida district, the summary said. Thirty-six additional civilians who were allegedly killed could not be accounted for, because of “insufficient evidence to determine their status or whereabouts.” In the days after the strike, some reports said that more than 200 bodies were pulled from the rubble. — WaPo
The investigation also debunked the spin Gen. Townsend gave a week after that strike, when he claimed civilians had been intentionally positioned to serve as shields. Prior to that, coalition forces had claimed a car bomb took out the building. Since there was no car-bomb crater, that explanation was quickly challenged by reporters:
In addition to determining the cause of the building collapse, the investigation also determined that the mass of people killed in the strike had been invited to take shelter on the building’s lower floors by a neighbor. The Islamic State also warned them to leave, according to locals interviewed during the investigation. This account is at odds with what the U.S.-led coalition’s top officer suggested 11 days after the strike, during a Pentagon news briefing. At the time, Gen. Stephen Townsend said that it appeared that the civilians were herded there by the Islamic State and were being used as shields. — WaPo