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  • pdas (Cherubino, CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons)
    Article: Oct 25, 2020

    The Independent reveals that Boris Johnson is facing growing condemnation for failing to act to end an "appalling" Tory alliance with neo-Nazi and anti-Muslim parties across Europe.

    They say that this extraordinary pact sees the party's MPs sitting alongside the "heirs of Mussolini" in Italy and an Estonian party that celebrates its wartime collaboration with Hitler, among other far-right groups in the Council of Europe.

    Yet. Lord Balfe, who was kicked out of the European Conservatives Group for protesting to No 10 after the group "invited in" the far-right so-called Democratic Alliance, has revealed that his repeated attempts to persuade the prime minister to take action have been rebuffed - as he was told it was going on "a long way away and no one understands it":

    "It's appalling," Lord Balfe told The Independent, "this group contains virtually every video nasty in the book and we should not be mixed up with them."

    Stephen Dorrell, a former health secretary and now chairman of the European Movement, said: "That the prime minister should think this is acceptable is a sad reflection of modern Tory politics.

    "To be making common cause with people whose values earlier generations of Conservatives took up arms against to resist."

    The paper says the agreement to work with these groups has boosted the power of Tory MPs in the council, a Strasbourg-based body that predates the EU and pushes for human rights and democracy across the continent:

    The best-known far-right parties in the coalition are the anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany and Italy's Northern League, but others are even more extreme.

    The Brothers of Italy was born out of the country's fascist movement, while the first leader of the Freedom Party of Austria - once headed by the notorious Jorg Haider - was a Nazi minister and SS officer.

    Lord Balfe said he has seen the Sweden Democrats "walk around Stockholm with swastikas", while Bulgaria's United Patriots "were elected on the basis that there were too many mosques".

    The Conservative People's Party of Estonia attends an annual march to commemorate the Estonian Legion - a unit of the Waffen-SS during the Second World War.

    The anti-Nazi Simon Wiesenthal Centre has called the march a "serious concern" because "such ideas paved the way for extensive collaboration by the locals in the implementation of the Final Solution".

    One Sweden Democrat MP, Markus Wiechel, was exposed in 2013 for having referred to black people as "monkeys" and "retarded pension-rescuers" - criticising the idea of immigration to fund an ageing population.

    The anti-fascist organisation Hope not Hate said Mr Johnson must "intervene immediately" and stop working with "extreme parties with a track record of racism and discrimination".

    "This group includes representatives from the Brothers of Italy, described by some as the heirs to Italian fascism. And for Tory politicians to have any association with figures like Markus Wiechel is a total disgrace," said Dr Joe Mulhall, its senior researcher.

    Yet another sign that the Conservative Party of old has gone, forever.

  • 0orz (Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash)
    Article: Oct 23, 2020

    Less than a month ago the Chancellor announced his plans to replace the furlough scheme with less generous new supports. It the time we said there were big issues with what was proposed which we did not think went far enough see https://southsuffolklibdems.org.uk/en/article/2020/1376727/saving-jobs-thursdays-announcement

  • fffgd (Photo by Arthur Osipyan on Unsplash)
    Article: Oct 22, 2020

    In business if you have a major problem it is quite normal to pull your best people of whatever they do normally to work full time on fixing the issue until things are resolved

    That's what is so confusing about what the government is doing with trying to fix track and trace. If we are to avoid another lockdown the track and track programme has to be a success, if not "world class" as the Prime Minister promised then at least something which works effectively. If the pain of going into Tier 3 lock-down is to be worthwhile any space given by suppressing the infection has to be used to improve the current system.

  • hhgz
    Article: Oct 21, 2020

    Our local updates continue today with a report from Sue Carpendale the Lib Dem Babergh councillor for Capel St Mary. She covers the likely impact of the govenments proposed changes to the planning process locally if the proposals go through unchanged. She also highlights worrying figures on the impact of covid on poverty locally and includes with some up-beat news on life satisfaction locally. You can read her full report here

  • dw
    Article: Oct 20, 2020

    We have the past two months reports from Lib Dem county councillor David Wood. He talks about he cuts to childrens centres, Council opposition to Sizewell C ,the latest view on the covid impact on the County budget and progress on the Lowestoft crossing. For those who live in his Division he also offers of any organisation that would appreciate a grant from his "Locality Fund" to contact him with a request as he is unable to carry any over spends to the next financial year due to the local elections in 2021. You can read his full reports here