KCK statement on the arrest of MP Leyla Güven


The arrest of Leyla Güvenexposes the reality of the Turkish State

Tens of MPs and mayors, hundreds of leading HDP members and thousands of democratic politicians find themselves imprisoned in Turkey. The arrest of tens of thousands of politicians demonstrate the hostility against the democratic forces and the Kurdish people. Such a high number of politicians have only been thrown into prison at times of fascist military coups or under fascist governments.

For the first time in Turkish history, we witness such a vast number of imprisoned politicians. Turkey has broken the global record when it comes to the number of political prisoners in relation to the country`s population as a whole. This alone shows how fascist and genocidal the Turkish state is.

The Turkish state tries to deceive Turkish society and the international public opinion by claiming that they are going to make reforms. At the same time, there is an increase in the number of political prisoners. The arrest of Leyla Güven, co-chair of the DTK (Democratic Society Congress) and MP for the Hakkari district, has once again exposed the reality of the Turkish state in all its clarity. These kinds of arrests signify what they mean by ‘reform’.

Their reform means passing new fascist laws. It is very likely that they will try to cover up this fascist pressure by taking certain deceiving side-measures afterwards. By arresting 100 people and releasing just five of them, they will claim that they have made a justice reform. Turkey is by all odds number one  internationally when it comes to injustice. Even Turkish authorities themselves are afraid of the possible dire consequences of such injustice. That’s why, from time to time, they make some claims about reforms and try to raise the expectation of the domestic and  international public opinion.

The AKP government is waging a special psychowar against everybody. It threatens everybody to either legitimize and support the current government or face more pressure. It pressures the HDP and all democratic politicians and tries to force them to surrender. Since they don`t give in, the arrests and the pressure increase.

Leyla Güven has been arrested because of her free spirit and her insistence on democratic politics. Everybody who comes out against AKP’s anti-democratic and anti-Kurdish AKP policies soon becomes a target for this  government. Today, they want to punish Leyla Güven for her determined participation in the indefinite hunger strike that took place in 2018 against the isolation and solitary confinement policy in Imrali prison island against the Kurdish people’s Leader Mr. Abdullah Öcalan. This arrest is a total act of revenge. She had only been released from prison before, in order to arrest her again at the right time. In order to pave the way for her arrest, they revoked her parliamentary immunity.

Shortly after her detention, an arrest warrant was issued and she was put into prison again. Leyla Güven was imprisoned because of her commitment to the Leader of the Kurdish people and because of her struggle for his freedom. Thus, her imprisonment represents a threat to all Kurdish women and to society as a whole because of their commitment to our Leader.

Turkey`s justice institutions and courts don’t follow the social and universal standards. People are being arrested and punished solely on the grounds of Tayyip Erdogan’s need for revenge and Devlet Bahçeli’s desire. It is well known under which circumstances Selahattin Demirtaş and Osman Kavala are being held in prison. When the European Court of Human Rights ruled for the immediate release of Selahattin Demirtaş, Tayyip Erdoğan openly said that they would take their own counter-measures and keep him in prison.

This is the story of all political prisoners in Turkey. Thus, Tayyip Erdoğan has confessed that the universal standards of law, the constitution or the current laws are not applicable, but the only applicable laws are their very own standards.

They have made clear to Leyla Güven what they will do to her, if she speaks out against the isolation on Imrali and embraces her Leader. Therefore, all women, democratic forces and the Kurdish people need to take responsibility for Leyla Güven and increase their struggle for the end of the isolation – this most important motivation for Leyla’s struggle.

Without the struggle against the isolation on Imrali this political genocide won’t be prevented and all those revenge attacks won’t be stopped. The imprisonment of Leyla Güven needs  to lead to the intensification of the struggle for an end to the isolation policy in Imrali.

Unless fascism and isolation policies are abandoned, it will be impossible to achieve freedom for the Kurdish people and all prisoners. Therefore, it is time to step up the struggle against fascism and isolation and thus achieve freedom everywhere. Freedom and democracy will be achieved together in Turkey. Neither individual liberation, nor a one-sided solution will be possible.

The democratization of Turkey and the solution of the Kurdish question will be the result of the struggle against fascism and isolation that will lead to the collapse of the AKP-MHP fascism. Without toppling this government, not a single problem in Turkey can be solved. Expecting only the smallest reform from this government, would mean nothing else but self-deceit.

Having expectations in this government or blindly following it, will only prolong its life. Therefore, we call on all democratic forces in Turkey, the youth and women and the whole Kurdish people to step up their struggle and bring an end to fascism and isolation.

Co-Presidency
KCK Executive Council

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Urgent Appeal To Help War Graves Workers

Solidarity means helping each other out which is why your support for Unite members in industrial struggle is needed.

Workers who maintain and care for our commonwealth war graves in France and Belgium are Unite members. They need your help.

The government has given these workers a terrible choice; come back to the UK or accept a 50% pay cut, a threat being fast-tracked through because we are leaving the European Union on 31st December.

This is no way to treat the workers who preserve the memory of the 1.7m Commonwealth servicemen and women who died in the two world wars fighting for our country.

Please help stop this.

Please ask your members to email the Minister directly at www.megaphone.org.uk/petitions/help-protect-commonwealth-war-graves-commission-cwgc-workers

The more emails and letters he receives, the greater the chance he listens.

The government accepts that these sudden changes were a mistake – so with your help we can win a fairer deal for our members. You can read more here https://unitelive.org/commonwealth-war-graves-commission-treating-staff-appallingly/

Thank you in advance for once again standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Unite members.

Bev Clarkson National Officer Unite 

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Venezuela’s National Assembly Elections – A Landslide For PSUV

Venezuela’s National Assembly elections: an important victory for Chavismo
Francisco Dominguez assesses the results of the vote.

Venezuela’s free and fair elections to the National Assembly, held on December 6 2020, produced a substantial political victory for Chavismo: out the 277 MPs to be elected, the PSUV-led Great Patriotic Pole (the governing coalition, GPP) won with a 69.43 per cent landslide (4,276,926 votes); the Alianza Democratica (opposition) polled 17.72 per cent (1,095,170); Venezuela Unida received 4.15 per cent (295,450); and smaller coalitions got the remainder of the votes cast.

That is, out of the 277 seats contested, the GPP got 177 with the remaining 97 going to the other coalitions. Altogether, 6,251,080 people voted which represents 31 per cent of the registered electorate. This was the 25th election since Hugo Chavez first became president in 1998.

It was the National Dialogue for Peace, integrated by the Bolivarian government and representatives of opposition parties that came to an agreement, which contemplated, among other things, the designation of a new National Electoral Council.

Additionally, as is the normal protocol, the National Electoral Council (CNE), as part of the consensus between government and opposition parties, introduced a number of changes and conducted some extra guarantees. The specifics were as follows:

The number of parliamentarians to be elected was increased from 167 to 277 out of which 144 (52 per cent) were elected by list, and 133 (48 per cent) by nominal vote; three seats for indigenous peoples also to be elected by nominal voting (held on December 9 2020).

A total of 16 audits to be conducted before, during and after the election, with full participation of all the parties involved, international electoral and computer experts, plus any observer proposed by any of the parties involved, including those invited by the governing coalition and the CNE. There were over 200 international observers coming from 34 countries, and also 1,500 national observers.

A total of 107 political organisations participated: 30 national, 53 regional, 6 indigenous organisations and 18 indigenous regional organisations. Ninety-eight of these fielded candidates against the GPP, only nine of the total supported the GPP. These parties fielded thousands of candidates and, as part of the transparency of the process, the CNE helped to organise 3,500 meetings in the country’s six regions with indigenous population.

There were more than 14,000 polling stations, and over 30,000 electoral tables. International observers could visit any polling station, anywhere, at any time during the election. With the exception of the number of parliamentarians, this election was identical to the election of the National Assembly in 2015 that the opposition won with a landslide.

The international observers from the Council of Electoral Experts of Latin America (CEELA in its Spanish acronym) issued a statement though national television praising the quality, efficiency, transparency and auditability of the election process, pointing out that this was achieved under impressive conditions of bio-safety despite the enormous economic difficulties Venezuela confronts due the US regime of sanctions.

Among the international observers were Evo Morales, Rafael Correa, Fernando Lugo, Jose Luis Zapatero and a number of European MPs, who also vouched for the election’s transparency, with the former president of Spain publicly calling on the EU to recognise the results and stop supporting US President Donald Trump’s sanctions against Venezuela.

All leaders of the participating opposition political parties stressed the importance of voting so as to elect a new National Assembly and condemned the sanctions and military aggression championed by Guaido, the extreme right, and Trump. They did take the chance to criticise government policies, especially in the economic field, but all favoured dialogue.

So, when the EU states that it doesn’t recognise the election results in Venezuela because it |failed to comply with international standards,” what does it mean?

The EU did recognise the 2017 elections in Honduras that not only took place under more or less dictatorial conditions but were dominated by fraud, which was condemned by the Organisation of American States (even Luis Almagro called for fresh elections).

The EU statement on Venezuela was issued on December 7 and has 198 words, whilst on Honduras the EU’s “report” is 43 pages long, and “regrets the deaths of at least 22 people during the post-electoral protests.”

At least the EU did not say it will continue with the farce of recognising the unelected Juan Guaido as president. But don’t hold your breath — the EU’s duplicity on Venezuela has become legendary.

It covered its back on the report on Honduras with the caveat “the contents of this report do not necessarily reflect the official position of the EU.” But it does, doesn’t it? The winner in the fraudulent election was Juan Orlando Hernandez, who in March 2020 was accused by US prosecutors of taking drug money, and a year earlier his brother was found guilty of drug smuggling.

Where is the EU’s ethical indignation about the electoral fraud and the criminal activities?
The electoral council did invite the EU to send an observer mission but, probably frightened and bullied by Trump and co, it informed Venezuela that three months “was not sufficient time” to prepare an observation mission. This from a bloc that in 2019 gave

President Nicolas Maduro eight days to organise presidential elections, or else they would recognise Guaido, again a kowtow to the US.

Guaido’s extreme right-wing current did not participate in this election following orders from its US mentors and because it is politically crumbling away.
Mike Pompeo, on behalf of the outgoing Trump administration predictably stated the US will not recognise the election results in Venezuela and “will continue to recognise” Guaido as “interim president.”

Dominic Raab, on behalf of the British government, parroted Pompeo’s stance, including going on with Guaido’s circus, and adding that Britain will continue to recognise him even as president of the National Assembly (whose old mandate ends in January 2020). This may change if the incoming boss, Joe Biden, takes a different view.

Venezuelans went to the polls under conditions of economic war, sanctions, international boycott, intoxicating media war, sabotage, US efforts to militarily blockade the import of food, health inputs and medicine, and an electoral boycott supported by a venomous global media demonisation campaign.

With Trump’s shenanigans about not accepting the US election results, the whole world can see how damaging, destabilising and unsettling such charges can be for any country or any government and how it sows dangerous domestic divisions, courting the most extreme elements (not to mention white supremacists) to take matters into their own hands.

In this regard the Venezuelan people’s resistance is heroic and despite the appeal of adopting strong-arm methods, President Maduro opted for dialogue, peace and democratic elections; this election represents a vindication of this approach.

After the election results were announced, President Maduro again called for a dialogue with the opposition to discuss a joint approach to address issues such as the US blockade, the perverse external attack against the nation’s currency, and the adoption of policies to recover the purchasing power of the population.

People can talk about the size of the election turnout, mention dozens of elections where the turnout was low, and speculate about what would have happened if this or that had taken place until the cows come home.

The fact of the matter is that Trump’s strategy of “regime change,” including the fictional “interim president,” has been defeated and the policy of dialogue and peace has taken another important step on the road to Venezuela’s institutional normalisation, badly dislocated by the aggression of US imperialism and its client Latin American governments (notably that of Ivan Duque in Colombia), and the EU’s complicity.

The road ahead continues to be littered with dangers, but it simultaneously offers fresh opportunities for the nation’s economic recovery so that the revolution strengthens the dynamic of social progress undermined in recent years by external aggression.
Guaido has been terminally wounded with this election, the Lima cartel is decomposing away, and Almagro and the OAS are massively discredited after the coup in Bolivia.
The US proxies that organise and maintain aggression are being neutralised.

Furthermore, the masses have defeated the right in Bolivia and Chile, and Mexico and Argentina now have progressive left governments. And Trump has politically suffered a rather humiliating defeat.

The international solidarity movement must redouble its efforts to support Venezuela’s national sovereignty, seek respect for the Venezuelan people’s vote in electing the 2020-25 National Assembly, and campaign for the British government, the European Union, European governments and the United States to develop a normal, constructive engagement approach with Venezuela.

Francisco Dominguez is secretary of the Venezuela Solidarity Campaign.

This article first appeared in the Morning Star.

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Solidarity statement from the TUC to the AFL-CIO (US elections)

Frances O’Grady, TUC General Secretary

We stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers at the AFL-CIO, who have worked tirelessly during the USA’s 2020 elections to support the democratic rights of working people across the country, and to ensure that every vote is counted.

We are proud of the role that unions play in countering the politics of hate, division and  authoritarianism, and pay tribute to AFL-CIO’s campaign to protect every vote in the highest voter turnout in more than a century.

The AFL-CIO has been at the forefront of the struggle for racial and economic justice. We know that whatever the outcome of this election, the labour movement across the USA and internationally will keep standing up for decency, dignity and equality for all working people, men and women, whatever our race, religion or background.

The collective power of working people can move mountains.
Together, strong and united, we will win.

FRANCES O’GRADY
General Secretary

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Workers Uniting Demands Justice For Orlando Gutierez

30th October 2020Workers Uniting sends condolences and solidarity to the Union Federation of Mineworkers of Bolivia (FSTMB) and the family of its leader, Orlando Gutiérrez, who died on October 28th after reportedly being violently attacked the previous week.

Orlando Gutiérrez was a committed defender of democracy, trade unionism, and the rights of workers in Bolivia.

His death must be investigated and the responsible parties brought to justice.

Workers Uniting is the global union – representing more than two million workers in Canada, Ireland, Mexico, the United Kingdom and the United States – formed by UNITE the Union, the United Steelworkers, and the Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores Mineros, Metalúrgicos, Siderúrgicos y Similares de la República Mexicana (Los Mineros).

 

 

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Help Us Stop Holiday Hunger

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Len McCluskey tells Johnson “Stop playing politics with jobs and lives”

Unite’s Len McCluskey tells Boris Johnson “Stop playing politics with peoples jobs and lives.”

Responding to the prime minister’s statement today (Friday 16th October) that the country should ‘get ready’ for the prospect of no trade deal with the EU, Len McCluskey, General Secretary of Unite, the UK’s largest trade union in Britain and Ireland, said:

“The EU is our largest trading partner. The future success of many of our industries depends on getting our new relationship right. 

 “Unite has long campaigned for a Brexit which supports our members’ jobs, sustains the communities in which they live and protects the future investment decisions of businesses. We’ve warned that as the clock ticks down to 31 December a deal on decent terms will not be forthcoming unless the government recognises the impact of a no deal on our manufacturing industries. 

 “Our automotive industry, just one example, relies on 1,100 trucks delivering parts from Europe every day for it to function. Without customs arrangements there will be chaos and delays on our borders and those parts simply won’t get through in time.

 “From car and pharmaceutical production to food processing and warehouse distribution, working people need a deal that keeps our country moving, our shops filled. An Australian-style deal is not that deal.

 “The Prime Minister must stop playing politics with people’s jobs and lives. No deal will be a disaster for an economy already suffering deep harm due to the pandemic. 

 “There is every risk that our country could experience its worst recession in generations and the prime minister’s reckless refusal to do a deal with the EU will only make things far worse for working people.”

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Tony Abbott and the Aussie Car Industry

 Andrew Dettmar President of the AMWU in Australia sent me this about the UK’s new ‘joint president of the Board of Trade’ former Aussie PM Tony Abbott – supposed trade negotiator supreme – dumped by his own party and his constituents – now another addition to ‘Team Johnson’.

Andrew (who has said its ok to publish this) has this to say about  Abbott and the demise of the Australian car industry:

“He simply abandoned Australian car workers. Thanks to our high Australian $$$, imports became temporarily cheaper & Australian made cars couldn’t compete.

Holden (owned by General Motors) applied for some ‘soft loans’ from Tony Abbott & Joe Hockey, (his treasurer).

The senior management of Holden wasn’t even given the courtesy of a phone call when Joe Hockey announced o the Australian parliament the Govenment’s refusal to help.

It gave rise to Joe Hockey’s infamous ‘lifters & leaners’ speech (he described Australian’s as being divided into two groups: “lifters” and “leaners”). The policy pretty much removed all industry support for manufacturing early in Abbott’s mercifully brief reign.

It didn’t affect the support mining, agriculture & the banks received mind you!

This was a disgraceful abandonment of workers and the bipartisan support of advanced manufacturing which Australia had enjoyed since WWII.”

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Labour joins fight to build Royal Navy support ships in UK shipyards

By Amanda Campbell – first published on UNITELive  August 28th, 2020

Following our story in UNITElive earlier this month on the campaign to build the Royal Naval Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ships within the UK, the Labour is now backing Unite and the other unions involved, with a new campaign ‘Built in Britain’ and a petition.

On August 14th UNITElive reported that our world-class shipbuilding industries and 40,000 highly skilled jobs were now in jeopardy after the government went back on its word to build Royal Navy fleet support ships in the UK – by sneakily inviting overseas yards into bidding to build three new key ships.

The estimated £1.5bn ministry of defence (MoD) contract to build three Fleet Solid Support (FSS) ships that will help keep the Navy’s new aircraft carriers at sea, provide them with stores including ammunition and food, has been put out to overseas tender.

In effect this would see ‘shovel ready’ work, funded by the UK taxpayer, dished out on a plate to overseas yards, while UK shipbuilding workers lose this significant opportunity to keep their jobs, their futures – and the UK – afloat.

Unite said this move goes against the recommendations of the National Ship Building Strategy, and betrays the nation.

But earlier this week (August 24) the Daily Mirror revealed that Labour is setting a “Built in Britain” test for UK military hardware as it steps up its fight for the bumper defence deal to stay on these shores.

Shadow defence secretary John Healey called on ministers to finally award the £1.5bn contract for three Fleet Solid Support vessels to a British consortium.

The battle comes as a major Whitehall defence and security review is underway and currently a Spanish-led team is bidding for the work to build the Royal Navy supply ships.

‘No-brainer’

“For five years, defence ministers have dithered over this decision when it’s a no-brainer to build these vital new ships in Britain,”said John Healey.

“They are selling Britain short by not putting the work into UK shipyards. No other major military nation has ordered naval support ships from foreign yards.

“What can be built in Britain now, must be built in Britain – and long-term defence and security procurement must also involve plans to develop the UK’s future capacity to build in Britain.

“This is one test by which we will judge the government’s new integrated review of defence and security,”he added.

The 40,000-tonne vessels will resupply Royal Navy aircraft carriers, destroyers and frigates with food, ammunition and explosives.

For national security reasons, Royal Navy warships can only be built in the UK. But the government has said the FSS ships as part of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, are not classed as warships – meaning they can be built abroad.

It’s a point strongly rejected by the unions’ campaign group, the Confederation of Shipbuilding and Engineering (CSEU)in which Unite plays a leading role. Labour’s support was very much welcomed by the CSEU.

“We very much welcome the ‘Built in Britain’ test and believe it should be applied to every major industry project that is funded by the taxpayer in order to preserve our skills base and ability to design, build and maintain complex projects,”said CSEU general secretary Ian Waddell.

He continued, “These ships are the cornerstone for the future of the British shipbuilding industry.

“Placing the order in the UK will bridge the gap between the end of the aircraft carrier programme and the next tranche of ships on order which will provide highly-skilled employment for a generation in areas that need it most.

‘Jump at the chance’

“If the Prime Minister is serious about levelling up in the regions he will jump at the chance of building these ships in Britain as a straightforward means to pump investment into our regions and get the economy up and running again after the coronavirus lockdown.”

Initially as we have reported the competition for the contract was offered worldwide, with companies from Italy, Spain, Japan and South Korea shortlisted, along with a UK consortium.

The British team, backed by the Keep Britain Afloatcampaign, includes Babcock, BAE Systems, Cammell Laird and Rolls-Royce.

In November the tendering process was suddenly halted – and hopes were raised the terms could be reset to boost the chances for UK firms.

But earlier this month, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) triggered fresh dismay when foreign firms were invited to take part in early plans to build the ships. The ‘prior information notice’ says the deal is open to “UK and international suppliers or consortiums offering a UK or international ship design, who are capable of either priming, providing a design and/or integrating or building FSS ships.”

This apparent U-turn comes after a government statement just four weeks earlier. Defence secretary Ben Wallace fuelled hopes that the deal might well go to a UK yard.

In a statement to the Commons he said, “British shipbuilding, British yards produce some of the best ships in the world and we should support them as best we can and make sure our Navy get some great British-made kit. In June, a Whitehall spending watchdog said a lack of Navy support vessels will hamper Britain’s two new £6.2bn aircraft carriers.”

An MoD spokesperson said, “We continue work on the procurement strategy for the Fleet Solid Support ships and will provide further details when the current stage is completed.”

“The CSEU has been campaigning hard to protect and support our shipbuilding and ship repair industries,”commented CSEU president and Unite AGS Tony Burke.

“We won the argument to build the FFS ships in UK shipyards and Boris Johnson was quick to promise that they would be built here in the UK before the election. The CSEU and our unions will ensure that we hold him to that promise. So please sign the petition – ask your friends and families to do the same to help save skilled jobs here in the UK.”

‘Shipbuilding – very much part of our future’

Unite assistant general secretary Steve Turner for manufacturing welcomed Labour’s support and urged everyone to sign the petition.

He said, “As we have continually maintained, shipbuilding is not a relic, nor our yesterday as a nation. In fact, it can easily be very much part of our future – supporting skilled workers and apprentices, families and local communities as it has for centuries.

“With so many having had their lives put on hold by the cruelty of Covid-19 now being further betrayed by a government that claims to support ‘jobs jobs jobs’ and to be willing to do ‘whatever it takes’ is nothing short of an act of gross industrial vandalism.

“If ever there was a ‘shovel ready’ project, it is FSS – and it’s great to hear that Labour supports that view. It will pump prime £1.3bn into regional economies and protect 40,000 jobs in the supply chain.

“Labour believes in our incredible workforce so why can’t the government? It’s simple – building our Royal Naval Fleet Support Ships here in UK shipyards is essential to maintain both jobs and essential skills between the end of the carrier programme and future naval procurements.

“Without it, this strategically vital industry may not survive as thousands of loyal, world class workers are thrown onto the scrap heap,”Turner added.

SIGN THE PETITION TODAY AND SAVE UK SHIPBUILDING

By Amanda Campbell @amanda_unite

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When Boris met Tony…

Alseep at the wheel: Gaffe prone ex- Aussie PM is wanted by Boris Johnson to ‘bang the drum’ for the UK on trade.

When one ‘desperate’ PM appoints a ‘gaffe-prone’ ‘misogynist’ ex-PM to preside over the ‘new’ Board of Trade, the weird and unusual just got weirder,

First published on UniteLive, Friday, August 28th, 2020

In what smacks of another act of desperation PM Boris Johnson is preparing to appoint discredited former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott as joint president of the re-launched Board of Trade, (first created in 1622 “to protect merchants’ complaints and protect the national interests”).

Johnson wants Abbott to ‘bang the drum’ and act as ‘a catalyst’ for international trade negotiations.

The gaffe prone former Aussie PM, famous for his  cringe-worthy comments (read  here)  will be ‘joint president’ together with International Trade Secretary Liz Truss – undoubtedly a move designed to elbow out Ms Truss who has failed to deliver much in the way of trade deals – especially the much vaunted US trade deal.

She recently got involved in a row over Stilton cheese in a simple ‘roll over’ from the EU-Japan trade deal after the Japanese insisted the UK could not expect to be as good a deal as the EU deal.

Weird advice

Abbott is seen as a Brextremist, who has favoured no deal from the outset. He has been given to handing out weird advice on Brexit including ignoring favoured nation status, and hoping that the EU will reciprocate with an offer from the UK of no tariffs on EU goods.

Last year Abbott, who was ousted as PM by his own party and dumped by his own constituents in the Aussie general election, wrote a pro-Brexit article in the Spectator based on his experience as Australian PM and their trading relationships with the EU – which is mostly based on agriculture and selling coal, gold and oil seeds to the EU – all involving ships being 25 days at sea.

According to one senior Aussie trade union official who Unite has a good working relationship with, Abbott is loathed even by his own Liberal Party, and on his watch the Australian automotive industry closed. Our source went onto say, “He has no negotiating skills to speak of, is a complete novice on world trade as well as being a climate change denier and a misogynist.”

Labour’s shadow secretary of state for international trade, Emily Thornberry responded to the news saying, “Any way you look at it, this is an absolutely staggering appointment. On a personal level, it is shameful that Boris Johnson thinks this offensive, aggressive, leering, gaffe-prone misogynist is the right person to represent our country overseas.

“And on a professional level, this is someone with no hands-on experience of negotiating trade agreements, who denies the climate change that we believe should be at the heart of our trade policy, and who clearly has no concept of the importance of Britain’s trade with the EU. It’s yet more breath taking incompetence from a government that has turned it into an art-form.”

Another bad Boris blunder?

And as Emily Thornberry refers to Abbott’s views on climate change it could prove to be that Johnson may well have blundered into another badly thought through decision.

In 2021 the UK is hosting the COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow. Hiring a man who called climate change “absolute crap”, likened climate action to “killing goats to appease volcano gods” and repealed Australia’s carbon price, looks like another appalling decision.

As my union comrade down under told me, “Abbott should fit right into Johnson and Cummings’ Britain.” I’m sure it won’t take us long to see just how right that view is.

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