The Labour leadership may seek to distance themselves form the yobbish antics of UKUncut but Ken Livingstone, the official Labour candidate for Mayor of London, hosted a conference with a speaker from UK Uncut.
Then there are the Labour MPs Tom Blenkinsop, Ronnie Campbell, Martin Caton, Katy Clark, Michael Connarty, Jeremy Corbyn, David Crausby, Jim Dobbin, Jim Hood, Kelvin Hopkins, Gerald Kaufman, John McDonnell, Alan Meale, Linda Riordan, Virendra Sharma and Marsha Singh.
They signed a Commons Early Day Motion last year which said it "congratulates UK Uncut for the role it has played in drawing attention by peaceful demonstrations to tax evasion and avoidance and to the need for firm action to secure tax justice." Peaceful? Those arrested at the Topshop protest included those charged not only with criminal damage and aggravated trespass but also assaulting a shop assistant, possession of a bladed article and assaulting police.
Yesterday UK Uncut occupied Fortnum and Mason. This was official activity by that organisation not some splinter group. By hitting the revenue for that shop they hit the revenue for the Garfield Weston Foundation which gives a huge array of charitable donations.
Here are a few examples:
- Cleveland Housing Advice Centre, Middlesbrough £5,000. What does Tom Blenkinsop (Middlesbrough South and east Cleveland) think of that?
- Revive Enterprise, Blyth £5,000. What does Ronnie Campbell (Blyth Valley) think of that?
- Ayrshire Hospice, Ayr £10,000. What does Katy Clark (North Ayrshire and Arran) think of that?
- Islington Carers Forum £10,000. What does Jeremy Corbyn (Islington North) think of that?
- Bolton Lads & Girls Club, Bolton £20,000. What does David Crausby (Bolton North east) think of that
- Luton Accommodation & Move-on Project (LAMP) £10,000. What does Kelvin Hopkins (Luton North) think of that?
- Henshaws Society for Blind People, Manchester £15,000. What does Gerald Kaufman (Machester Gorton) think of that?
- Northern Orchestral Enterprises Ltd (NOEL), Halifax £1,000. What does Linda Riordan (Halifax) think of that?
- Alzheimer’s Concern Ealing, London £4,500 and Volunteer Link Scheme, South Ealing, £20,000. What does Virendra Sharma (Ealing Southall) think of that?
- Bolton Villas HUB Project, Bradford £10,000, Manningham Mills Community Association Ltd, Bradford £5,000. Christians Against Poverty, Bradford £15,000. St Christopher’s Youth Outreach Project,
Bradford £3,000. What does Marsha Singh (Bradford West) think about that?
What are the rest of us supposed to think of a Labour leader who looks the other way when his MPs and London Mayoral candidate are cheering on UK Uncut?