Scandal: Impoverished UK Labour-run Islington Council spent £136,000 to stop pro-Palestinian musician from playing at local concert

Gilad Atzmon writes:

The corrupt Labour-run Islington Council has disclosed that it spent the staggering sum of £136,000 (one hundred and thirty-six thousand pounds, or $178,000) on legal fees in its efforts to stop me from playing the saxophone with the Blockheads at a Christmas concert.

Islington Labour Council claims to be impoverished and, as a result, it has evicted disabled people, it struggles with housing and can’t find the necessary cash to feed impoverished kids in school. Despite that, the council used £136,000 of the taxpayers’ money to try to interfere with the arts, freedom of expression and a Christmas musical celebration. If this story doesn’t become a huge scandal, it would mean that Britain is no longer a free country.

Islington Council Freedom of Information reply

Islington Council Freedom of Information reply


On 3 December, Islington Council received an emailfrom Likud Uk Director Martin Rankoff. Rankoff claimed to be so upset by my appearance at a council venue that he would be forced not to attend. Council Leader Richard Watts took immediate action. In anemail to Rankoff he vowed to prevent me from appearing with the Blockheads. On 4 December the council sent a letter to the Blockheads informing them that they had to remove me from the  concert or face a cancellation. The band was indignant that the council was interfering with their performance and published a very strong statement opposing the council’s demand. I hired a legal team to help me fight the council’s autocratic demand.

For its part, the bankrupt council hired Simkinslaw firm. Simkins, already one of Britain’s most expensive legal firms, deployed two partners for the task of stopping me playing the saxophone. Not surprisingly, one of these partners had represented US ultra Zionist tycoon Sheldon Adelson, a benefactor of both President Trump and Likud leader and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

A few days before the concert, I publicised the matter, having decided that the public deserved to know how their council was spending its time and their money. And I was determined to expose the troubling collusion between the Labour Council and Likud UK.

A petition expressing disgust with the council was launched and quickly gathered almost 7,000 signatures, but the council refused to employ common sense. Thousands of complaints were filed with the council. But the Labour council preferred to listen to the Likud UK director. I was told that the council was spending tens of thousands of pounds on legal fees to justify its unlawful act. Some of my supporters filed Freedom of Information requests to find out how much Councillor Watts’s “decision” cost Islington’s residents.

“The message to peace loving Britons is clear: despite our love for Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party in its current form is a cancerous, rotten collective. Not only is it unqualified to lead, its proximity to a government puts the future of Britain as a free society at grave risk.”

I thought there had been an outlandish waste of £40,000-60,000. Today, through the Freedom of Information replies, we learned that the corrupt Labour politicians spent three times that amount. And in response to a request for an explanation of the council’s actions, the Labour councillors showed that they were not even brave enough to take responsibility for their own wasteful and absurd actions. Their claim was that the council’s employees had been the decision makers:

The operative decision to ban Mr Atzmon was not taken by a councillor. Rather, the decision was taken by Martin Bevis, Assistant Director Financial Operations and Customer Service, and that decision was upheld on appeal by Ian Adams, Director Financial Operations and Customer Services.

Islington Council Freedom of Information reply

Islington Council Freedom of Information reply

It seems unlikely that Martin Bevis and Ian Adams were the decision makers. If they were, the council should explain how it managed to spend a six-figure sum on lawyers.

The message to peace loving Britons is clear: despite our love for Jeremy Corbyn, the Labour Party in its current form is a cancerous, rotten collective. Not only is it unqualified to lead, its proximity to a government puts the future of Britain as a free society at grave risk.

My friend, Iranian American author Negar Azizmoradi, gives us this parable. A frog thrown into a pot of boiling water will immediately jump out but a frog placed in a pot of cold water that is slowly heated to a boil will not save itself. It will be cooked to death. Britons, like Americans, French and other Westerners, have been steamed for a while. Corbyn has been submerged in the heating water for the last three years. We are running out of the time to jump out. If we don’t put this madness to an end, we’re all going to end up as rotting corpses in a chicken soup.

But this story has a good ending. While Islington Council was quick to waste its residents’ tax money on lawyers, I managed to channel my art through Santa Claus, probably my best student ever:

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Gilad Atzmon is an Israeli-born British jazz saxophonist, novelist, political activist, and writer. Atzmon's album Exile was BBC jazz album of the year in 2003. Playing over 100 dates a year, he has been called "surely the hardest-gigging man in British jazz." His albums, of which he has recorded nine to date, often explore the music of the Middle East and political themes. He has described himself as a "devoted political artist." He supports the Palestinian right of return and the one-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. His criticisms of Zionism, Jewish identity, and Judaism, as well as his controversial views on The Holocaust and Jewish history, have led to allegations of antisemitism from both Zionists and anti-Zionists. A profile in The Guardian in 2009 which described Atzmon as "one of London's finest saxophonists" stated: "It is Atzmon's blunt anti-Zionism rather than the music that has given him an international profile, particularly in the Arab world, where his essays are widely read." His book The Wandering Who? is available at


  1. Write to the Labor Party HQ Gilad and ask for carte blanche to play at any council organized event you wish. Then see if the Labour Party is dumb enough to go broke by promoting the Zionist agenda against you. Who knows but the Conservatives For Israel goons will pay you to do it for nefarious political gain. I don’t doubt but you have broadcast this travesty against you to national papers where it deserves an airing. If not, my strong advice is to do so. It is a staggering dereliction of political nous to treat you in this manner. Islington Council should be ashamed of themselves. In fact they should be disbanded and reorganized from the bottom up for their costly ineptitude that leaves people hungry and on the street. Incredible that this happened. Absolutely incredible financial and political malfeasance by Bevis and ‘Butthead’ Adams who deserved to be fired ‘instanter.’

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