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Sunday, 24 June 2018

Banks And Wigmore CORNERED

The desperation of the Leave EU principals at their pursuit by the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr, aided and abetted by Byline Media’s Peter Jukes, is beginning to show, as both Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore begin to crack under the pressure of nothing more challenging than a journalist asking them questions.
This has resulted in a welter of bullying, threats, lies and hypocrisy played out around the latest instalment in the Observer’s investigation into the less pleasant aspects of Leave EU’s behaviour, in which it is revealed that Banks and Wigmore were looking for dirt on Ian Katz, who at the time was editor of BBC Newsnight.
Why so? The programme had aired a report about Banks. Someone at Vote Leave, identified only as “Harry”, had come up with background on Katz, but Wiggy was not satisfied. “We need personal stuff like girlfriends, if he’s in debt all the stuff a private investigator can find. That’s how we should retaliate”. Note “retaliate”. Journalists report, so there has to be “retaliation”, not a response or rebuttal. And Banks was no better.

He echoed Wigmore, telling “Agreed. Have a chat with Patrick and let’s get motoring on”. Doesn’t quite have the ring of “Get the word out to Camp Freddie”, but still. The identity of “Patrick” is not known, but Banks is a director of a private security company, Precision Risk and Intelligence. What is also telling is that Banks and Wigmore clearly believed this behaviour to be normal, which would explain their response to the Observer.
This is what Wiggy told them: “You will be aware that we have reported you, the Guardian, the Observer, Peter Jukes Bi-Line Media [sic] and Chris Wylie to the police under the Computer Misuse Act 1990. The police have also been given evidence and tape recordings of inducements and threats made to the original source of the stolen emails and how our emails were later then accessed in full cooperation of other third parties that the police have been informed of” (Zelo Street has considered the Police report HERE).
But it is the afters in which the Banks gang indulged that show just how cornered they are - and know they are. Carole Cadwalladr told “Yesterday @arron_banks & @andy_wigmore of LeaveEU bullied & threatened us ahead of this story we publish today about how they bully & threaten MPs & journalists” (see the full thread HERE).
Nick Cohen, who has taken a close interest in this story, concluded “Journalists: if Arron Banks isn't coming for you, you're not doing your job”. That set Wiggy off.
Trouble is you lot don’t like it when someone fights back, why should we let grubby tools like you Cohen say what they like without using our platform to call you out and respond - freedom of speech only works one way in your warped world” he snapped. But Wiggy had forgotten the freedom of speech he and Banksy had already employed.
Peter Jukes, though, had not: “'Freedom of speech’ … From the team that brought you ‘You wouldn't be so lippy in Russia’ … Let’s [get] the private investigators onto Newsnight Editor … On [to] MPs … Let's target female MPs … Every time they try to dig dirt, they just undermine themselves further. And now they're panicking”. Banks had, it is true, not distinguished himself by his referring to what happens to journalists in Russia.
Moreover, it did not serve Wiggy’s cause at all well that he was also indulging in yet more puerile and desperate attacks on Ms Cadwalladr, such as “You’re officially obsessed @carolecadwalla which one of us to you fancy most?”. What a saddo.
Yet worse was the bizarre intervention on Wiggy’s behalf from Raheem “call me Ray” Kassam: “I know the likes of @carolecadwalla and @johnsweeneyroar think this makes @Arron_banks look bad but it doesn’t. We need to do this more. Biased (fake) journos have no problem playing dirty. About time they got it back”. Kassam would know all about biased and fake journos, as that describes him well.
In any case, as Tim Ireland had to point out to him, “This logic only works if you award yourself victim status, then deem 'fighting with fire' to be a legitimate tactic despite any damage it may do. You also have to ignore it putting you on the wrong side of the argument that allegedly made you an alleged victim in the first place”. Quite.

The crass and amateur nature of this spectacle could be disregarded as some kind of freak show, and to an extent that is exactly what it is. But Banks and Wigmore lashing out aimlessly shows that they are cornered, cannot shake off Ms Cadwalladr, and know their attempt to involve the Police has run out of road.

Worse, as I pointed out previously, alleged multi-millionaire Banks is now reduced to crowdfunding his legal bills. So smearing and bullying is all they have left. And given the supreme idiocy of Kassam, that isn’t going to take them very far.

Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore are out of time and out of options. Sad, really.

Far Right Fails To Disrupt Peoples Vote

Although hundreds of thousands turned up to the Peoples Vote march yesterday intent on peaceable protest, there had to be a counter-protest, and it had to be the Wall of Gammon™ making it. Although that counter-protest was at times unintentionally hilarious, there was a serious and indeed sinister undertone, given the presence of not just the far right, but also neo-Nazis of the kind who are often up for a little afters.
The counter-protest had the blessing of UKIP, which (a) confirms the party’s drift towards electoral oblivion, but (b) allows the far right to feel legitimised. Head Kipper Adolf von Batten proclaimed “A great crowd at the Pro Brexit Rally in London at Millbank”, although there were four or five hundred well Policed attendees at best.
Reaction to Batten’s proclamation was frequently adverse. “Why is the crowd mostly, white men? Wouldn’t like to be there ..looks really hostile and angry” was one response, while Otto English goaded them with their own language: “Teeny by comparison to #peoplesvotemarch ... you lost … move on”.
Some observers, though, got to the serious point in short order. “Seeing as how when angry white men ‘march’ They get really drunk, seig heil and then attack police leading to numerous arrests” was one warning. And Far Right Watch picked up on the “Sieg Heil” part: “#Ukip Event at #Millbank ... proudly supported by Generation Identity - the Paramilitary Trained Fascist Group. (Yellow 'Sigma' Flags)”.
Yes, the neo-Nazis were there, and Batten didn’t seem fussed about it, which should now be sounding alarm bells not just in the law enforcement agencies, but also all those media outlets which have been so keen to court the Kippers of late. Daniel Sidi agreed with FRW: “Oh look, Generation ID Expect Nazi salutes, violence and racist chants any moment”. But pro-am creep Caolan Robertson was having none of it, pretending all was sweetness and light: “#FreeTommy & ProBrexit patriots take over London”.
Mike Stuchbery put him right on that one: “There's a few Generation Identity flags in that crowd, Caolan. I see to remember we fought a war against their sorts 80 years back. BTW, they'd have put you in a camp”. They might just have taken Caolan out and shot him. And one Tweeter had this event figured out. “So, No neo-nazis at a pro-EU march, but they show up at an anti EU march. What can we determine from this?”.
What indeed? And then came the farce, as Jan Schneider encountered the Wall of Gammon™ in all its not-quite-splendour: “The Brexiteers have arrived. Shouting ‘Go home’ at British people”. That’s a Democratic Football Lads Alliance T-shirt, by the way.
And just how patriotic they were was soon discovered by Will Dry, who Tweeted in clear surprise “The far right just abused 96 year old Brigadier Goodall - WW2 hero, many medals. Disgusting”. The far right are always ready to tell how they support our armed forces and veterans - unless they don’t agree with them.

So the Wall of Gammon™ failed to make friends or influence people yesterday. But their presence should not be dismissed out of hand. Neo-Nazis stirring up the mob never should. And we all know where that leads. Gerard Batten is a clown. A dangerous one.

Spiked Butthurt At Peoples Vote

[Update at end of post]

Yesterday, hundreds of thousands marched in central London to demand a vote on whatever deal is, or is not, agreed between Britain and the EU over Brexit. Many had never marched before; the mood, though, was peaceful and the Police presence required minimal, which will have come as a relief to the Met Commissioner.
And as the March reached Westminster, there were speeches from a range of political leaders. This was all too much for the convocation of contrarians otherwise known as Spiked, so called because it should have been years ago. Whatever the march represented had to be framed as something seriously bad, and indeed undemocratic.
So it was that Brendan O’Neill and Fraser Myers sallied forth, telling anyone bothered “spiked’s Brendan O’Neill and @FraserMyers at the #PeoplesVoteMarch, trying to keep our spirits up in the middle of this tragic display of middle-class angst and anti-democratic entitlement!”, declaring that whatever this march was about was A Very Bad Thing Indeed.
Where was the angst? Where was the entitlement? What was anti-democratic about it? Best not ask. Instead, it was on to more selective reporting: “The #PeoplesVoteMarch is hands-down the whitest, most middle-class demo spiked has ever seen. This is a screech of rage of the comfortable classes against the masses who voted for Brexit”. People who cadged a coach fare to London are the “comfortable classes” in the retelling. But kudos to O’Neill and Myers for finding a view of the march with only white faces in it.
Their desperation reached its peak with the observation “The police presence here is the smallest spiked has ever seen at any demo - which is not surprising given this is a march defending the status quo”. Got that? A peaceful protest is A Very Bad Thing. People behaving peaceably means there is some sort of dastardly conspiracy at work!
And it got worse: “Here is spiked’s Brendan O’Neill and @FraserMyers arguing with Remainers at today’s pro-EU march. We passionately put the case for democracy and liberty against the stiff, haughty Brussels oligarchy. A great day arguing on the side of the people!” There was no evidence whatever of them arguing with anyone. There was, as far as is known, no Brussels presence. And who elected them to speak on behalf of the people? Ah well. Best not ask. Mustn’t cause even more butthurt.
But perhaps someone did speak to them. “Someone asked spiked today: ‘Do you support our right to march against Brexit?’ Our response was this: ‘Absolutely. Freedom and democracy should extend to everybody - even those who fear freedom and democracy, as Remoaners do.’” Abuse. Claims that those marching do not support democracy.
There were plenty of similar claims. “The wealthy, well-connected people who want to ‘Stop Brexit’ are really trying to stop democracy. They think their vote should count for more than ours. It is a brazen assault on the democratic ideal, says Brendan O’Neill”. Spiked cites Tony Blair and Richard Branson. Neither of whom was there. No-one is pretending that one person’s vote outweighs another. It’s just lies.
All that was left was for the great Brendan to make an official statement. “Brendan O’Neill on today’s #PeoplesVoteMarch against Brexit”. O’Neill let slip the vacuity of his position by claiming that only 50,000 turned up. Estimates have been in the hundreds of thousands.
This is what Brendan O'Neill thinks about democracy

What O’Neill really thought, and what he and Spiked don’t want us to see - because the Tweet has been deleted overnight - is the comment “Brendan O’Neill: ‘This has been my mood all day. #PeoplesVoteMarch was a gathering of the most entitled, democracy-suspicious people I have ever encountered. They genuinely think they have the moral authority to overthrow the largest vote in British history. This cannot stand.’” together with a sneering O’Neill giving the finger. There he is, the really entitled one.

The reality of Spiked’s smearing of the People’s Vote march is that Brendan O’Neill has his eye on the next commission from papers like the Murdoch Sun, which will lap up his contrarian nonsense. But one inconvenient fact blows his argument apart.

Brendan O’Neill’s whole schtick rests on framing the 2016 EU referendum as being set in stone, an immutable result which he then calls “democracy”, declaring anyone wanting - for instance - a vote on the final deal as “undemocratic”, or somehow fearful and suspicious of democracy. But what he is defending is not democracy.

Democracy is not setting one vote in stone and declaring it to be “the will of the people”. Democracy is a continuous, living process. The will of the people is never settled; it varies with issues and over time. It is Brendan O’Neill who is fearful of democracy - so fearful, in fact, that he is prepared to go out there and blatantly lie and smear.

But good of O’Neill and his pals to show their butthurt at seeing a genuinely popular movement out there that he cannot understand. The Sun will be calling him soon.

[UPDATE 1205 hours: Brendan O'Neill might like to explain the photo and accompanying narrative shown below.
The person who snapped the image tells "Do these two guys look familiar? Before the Anti-Brexit march yesterday I was in the Comedy Pub on Oxenden Street near Leicester Sq trying to watch ... the Australia vs Ireland rugby game ... These guys came in and sat near me and proceeded to have a loud discussion about the three marches that were going on that day. They were sharing passwords for Twitter accounts and talking about how 'Libs would be triggered' and that they had buses of people coming in from Kent".
The one with his face visible to the camera is Brendan O'Neill (the other is probably Fraser Myers). Perhaps The Great Man, or his pals at Spiked, would like to furnish an explanation]

Top Six - June 24

So what’s hot, and what’s not, in the past week’s blogging? Here are the six most popular posts on Zelo Street for the past seven days, counting down in reverse order, because, well, I have to be out and about later. So there.
6 Daily Mail Says Migrants Caused Brexit The Dacre doggies know that there will be a blame game if Brexit fouls up the economy. So they are making sure they aren’t in the firing line - by blaming someone else.

5 BBC Welcomes Another Fascist The Corporation invited - for the second time - far-right German Beatrix von Storch of AfD, on to Newsnight. She’s previously advocated for refugees to be shot.

4 Vote Leave BROKE THE LAW That’s the clear inference of what the Electoral Commission is telling us - so why is BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg pretending otherwise?

3 More Uber Scams BUSTED As TfL considers their appeal against licence refusal, there are more of those not quite legal activities that Uber has been accused of using.

2 Tommy Robinson Pals Fall-Out ESCALATES While Stephen Yaxley Lennon’s support team helps out his family, opportunist Caolan Robertson has appointed himself official spokesman to secure a jolly to the USA.

1 Piers Morgan Loses Lineker Tackle The self-appointed armchair expert took a break from whinging about Arsenal FC to whinge about England instead. But the subsequent exchange with a real former England player did not go his way. Again.

And that’s the end of another blogtastic week, blog pickers. Not ‘arf!

Saturday, 23 June 2018

Arron Banks - Wasting Police Time?

Having made the defamatory claim that Carol Cadwalladr of the Observer and Peter Jukes of Byline Media, or someone on their behalf, improperly obtained the email trove of alleged multi-millionaire Leave EU principal Arron Banks, he and his pal Andy Wigmore have now dug themselves a hole from which they seem in no hurry to extricate themselves. Indeed, Banksy and Wiggy have begun to dig themselves deeper.
This is despite Byline Media indicating legal action against Banks and Wigmore, finding that they were no longer represented by reassuringly expensive lawyers Mishcon de Reya, and the spectacle of Banks, who is supposedly worth millions, having to resort to crowdfunding his legal costs in order to contest the Byline action.
But stop digging? Wiggy was having none of it. “Update on our stolen emails. We now have evidence that they have been widely distributed to US broadcasting organisations and we know who by - the police @ASPolice @metpoliceuk @ThamesVP are investigating” he claimed dishonestly, even tagging Mishcon de Reya, even though they no longer represent him. Or has Wiggy found another shilling for the meter?
Sadly for him, the serially tenacious Tim Ireland of Bloggerheads fame knew that Wigmore’s pants were on fire. “I have been in touch with Avon & Somerset Police. They told me this alleged crime was ‘recorded by Thames Valley Police’. It's likely what Banks/[Wigmore] did was make two entirely irrelevant complaints (and one unsubstantiated one) then pretended 3 forces are investigating (a lie)” he concluded. And there was more.
Lies take seconds. Revealing truth takes time, and seasoned liars know hands of police are tied in certain respects when it comes to objecting to people alleging things in their name. I am chasing this further, but what Wigmore claims here is false, according data from @ASPolice”. What say Wiggy to that?
I think you’ll find your [sic] wrong Timmy and as if they would tell you anything - they’ve visited @Arron_banks FYI”. Which means precisely nothing. Ireland was unimpressed.
I have an email from the @ASPolice Chief Constable’s Staff Office that clearly indicates this was referred to TVP, but thanks for revealing your confidence that they would not go far as to reveal this to me or anyone else. You're playing an old game I am well familiar with”. Meanwhile, Peter Jukes called out Wigmore’s braggadocio.
I’m looking forward to talking to the police and putting to rest this interminable distracting bullshit. You and Arron were more loyal to Putin than this country and that’s the real crime”. Wiggy tried to make light of a Police investigation fizzling out, followed by a legal bill that would not help his ability to fit out that new basement at his Kensington house.
As long as you’ve done nothing wrong Pete you’ll be fine - relax”. But Wiggy and Banksy are in trouble, and Banks boasting about an upcoming press feature isn’t helping.
In an exclusive interview with the Washington Post on Monday we will be discussing , Moscow, Washington , Trump , stolen emails & hacked Material by the @guardian , fake news & the dirty political war being fought” he swaggered, which would have been more effective had he been able to punctuate it competently.

This was most helpful of him, as Byline Media’s lawyers will now have prior notice of the feature and be able to contact the WaPo accordingly. Even more stupidly, Banks has decided to double down on the defamatory accusations on email theft.
It also appears that not only were emails stolen from Isobel Oakeshott , but emails from http://Leave.EU  account after this date. We have at least one instance where a story reported by a @guardian [sic] was highly misleading using selective info” he proffered, trying to maintain a narrative that is only going to end up costing him serious money.
That, of course, will be after the Thames Valley, Avon and Somerset and Metropolitan Police forces file Banksy’s claims NFA. And already the US media is catching up with them, as an article in New York Magazine by Jonathan Chait shows.

Being gobby and hoping nobody bites back might have served Banks and Wigmore well in the past. It won’t do any more. From here is only downhill.

Julia Hartley Dooda - Oh Happy Day

Today is two years since the EU referendum, a time for Europhobes to celebrate securing a freedom that they had already, and getting back a country that they had not lost. And for increasingly desperate self-promotion artiste Julia Hartley Brewer, it is an opportunity for her to open mouth, and then clumsily insert reassuringly expensive footwear.
We know who you are, thanks

Ms Hartley Dooda wanted to tell the world of the happiness experienced by Herself Personally Now at the referendum result. She instead showed the world that when it comes to finding oneself in a hole, she’s your go-to source for ignoring Healey’s Dictum and just carrying on digging.
Happy Brexit Day, everyone! Two years on, this is still one of the happiest moments of my life” she trilled. Yes, all those people losing their jobs, living standards about to go down the chute, economic growth soon to stagnate, but She’s All Right Jack.
Adam Boulton of Sky News (first for breaking wind) was distinctly underwhelmed by the idea, responding “Wherever you stand on #Brexit that is pretty tragic”. One other Tweter asked “what about when your child was born?
At this point, Ms Hartley Dooda could, and should, have got out while the going was not so bad. But she was too important to merely concede that she might have fouled up. “I didn’t say it was THE best day - just one of them. Is reading a problem for you?” she retorted, managing to change “happiest” to “best” and set Twitter off again.
And she knew who was at fault here - REMOANERS! “Some Remoaners seem to be struggling with the concept of someone having more than ONE ‘happiest moment in their lives’. I have been lucky enough to have HUNDREDS in my life. This is *one* of them. I hope that’s not too complicated for their Brussels-fuddled brains to cope with”.
With that, she engaged full superior elitist mode and proclaimed “The happiest moments in my life include: Birth of my daughter … Wedding day … My hubby proposing … Births of my younger siblings … Scuba diving with a whale shark … Cage diving with great white sharks … Dawn at Machu Picchu … Tropical storm at Angkor Wat … Walking on a glacier in Chile & Brexit”. DAHLING! I’ve done it ALL! Me Me Meeeeeeee!
She had done so much that she kept on digging and came back for afters. “Oh yeah, and zip lining down that volcano in Costa Rica, watching my daughter sing a solo in her school play, getting my A levels, listening to my husband read bedtime stories to my daughter, waterfights on the beach in Cornwall, getting my first journo job, the list goes on”.
One Tweeter pointed out that this was just a teensy bit elitist. Off went Ms Hartley Dooda once more. “God, these #FBPE people are so miserable, aren’t they?” Speak for yourself.
So she hasn't done the birthplace of pizza in Naples, seen the Secession building in Vienna, climbed to the viewing deck of the Novy Most in Bratislava, seen where JFK gave his “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech, strolled the streets of Segovia, walked the beach where they filmed OHMSS, eaten deep fried artichoke in Rome, strolled Paris’ Jardins du Luxembourg, walked on the Grossglockner glacier, and looked out at dusk over Lisbon from the Santa Justa Tower. So she’s right to conclude “It has, truly, been a shit life”.